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ammunition,  cooking  ute 
and  a  sextant  ;  forming 
loads.  Dr.  Livingstone 
loads  of  his  own  stores, 
culates  that  the  Doctor  ^ 
sufficient  to  last  him  foi 
a  few  additional  article: 
especially  a  good  watch  ; 
and  fifty  trustworthy  m 
Mr.  Stanley  undertook  tc 
bar,  and  he  set  out  for  1 
stone's  journal  and  letters 
He  performed  the  march 
through  swamps,  across 
tramping  through  dense 
days,  and  reached  Baga 
May.  Thus  was  this  gre; 
service  for  the  performanc 
earned  and  has  received 
St  1  and  ^it^o"  from  the  Queen  ai 
the  Royal    and  especially  from  the  '. 

Geographical      .     .       ^         ,    „ 

Society,      of  the  Royal  Geographic^ 

*  "The  Council  assemble! 
period,  and  broke  one  of  1 
Society  in  granting  Mr.  StanI 
six  months  before  the  appoi 
the  recognition  of  geographi( 
precedented  ;  and  Mr.  Stanle 
received  the  medal,  in  defian 
the  autumn  previous  to  the  gei 

Presented  to  the 

LIBRARY  of  the 





Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 

in  2009  with  funding  from 

University  of  Toronto 




IN     TH  I  RTY     VOLUMES 



P.    F.    COLLIER    AND    SON 

M  C  M  I  I 




The  reader  guesses  beforehand  whom  the  usher  an- 
nounced in  announcing  the  messenger  from  Bretagne.  This 
messenger  was  easily  recognized.  It  was  D'Artagnan,  his 
clothes  dusty,  his  face  inflamed,  his  hair  dripping  with 
sweat,  his  legs  stiff;  he  lifted  his  feet  painfully  the  height 
of  each  step,  upon  which  resounded  the  ring  of  his  bloody 
spurs.  He  perceived  in  the  doorway  he  was  passing 
through  the  surintendant  coming  out.  Fouquet  bowed 
with  a  smile  to  him  who,  an  hour  before,  was  bringing  him 
ruin  and  death.  D'Artagnan  found  in  his  goodness  of  heart 
and  in  his  inexhaustible  vigor  of  body,  enough  presence  of 
mind  to  remember  the  kind  reception  of  this  man;  he  bowed 
then,  also,  much  more  from  benevolence  and  compassion 
than  from  respect.  He  felt  upon  his  lips  the  word  which 
had  so  many  times  been  repeated  to  the  Due  de  Guise, 
"Fly."  But  to  pronounce  that  word  would  have  been  to 
betray  his  cause;  to  speak  that  word  in  the  cabinet  of  the 
king,  and  before  an  usher,  would  have  been  to  ruin  himself 
gratuitously,  and  could  save  nobody.  D'Artagnan  then 
contented  himself  with  bowing  to  Fouquet,  and  entered 
At  this  moment  the  king  floated  between  the  joy  the  last 
words  of  Fouquet  had  given  him  and  his  pleasure  at  the 
return  of  D'Artagnan.  Without  being  a  courtier,  D'Ar- 
tagnan had  a  glance  as  sure  and  as  rapid  as  if  he  had  been 
one.  He  read,  on  his  entrance,  devouring  humiliation  on 
the  countenance  of  Colbert.  He  even  heard  the  king  say 
these  words  to  him: 

"Ah!   Monsieur    Colbert,  you  have  then  nine  hundred 
thousand  livres  at  the  intendance?" 

Colbert,  suffocated,  bowed,  but  made  no  reply.     All  this 


scene  entered  into  the  mind  of  D'Artagnan,  by  the  eyes 
and  ears,  at  once.  The  first  word  of  Louis  to  his  mus- 
keteer, as  if  he  wished  it  to  be  in  opposition  to  what  he  was 
saying  at  the  moment,  was  a  kind  "good-day."  The  second 
was  to  send  away  Colbert.  The  latter  left  the  king's  cabi- 
net, livid  and  tottering,  while  D'Artagnan  twisted  up  the 
ends  of  his  mustache. 

"I  love  to  see  one  of  my  servants  in  this  disorder,"  said 
the  king,  admiring  the  martial  stains  upon  the  clothes  of 
his  envoy. 

"I  thought,  sire,  my  presence  at  the  Louvre  was  suf- 
ficiently urgent  to  excuse  my  presenting  myself  thus  before 

"You  bring  me  great  news,  then,  monsieur?" 

"Sire,  the  thing  is  this,  in  two  words;  Belle  Isle  is  forti- 
fied, admirably  fortified.  Belle  Isle  has  a  double  enceuite,  d, 
citadel,  two  detached  forts;  its  ports  contain  three  corsairs, 
and  the  side  batteries  only  wait  for  their  cannon." 

"I  know  all  that,  monsieur,"  replied  the  king. 

"What!  your  majesty  knows  all  that?"  replied  the  mus- 
keteer, stupefied. 

"I  have  the  plan  of  the  fortifications  of  Belle  Isle,"  said 
the  king. 

"Your  majesty  has  the  plan?" 

"Here  it  is." 

"It  is  really  it,  sire;  and  I  saw  a  similar  one  on  the  spot." 
The  brow  of  D'Artagnan  became  clouded.  "Ah!  I  un- 
derstand all.  Your  majesty  has  n-ot  trusted  to  me  alone, 
but  has  sent  some  other  person,"  said  he,  in  a  reproachful 

"Of  what  importance  is  the  manner,  monsieur,  in  which 
I  have  learned  what  I  know,  so  that  I  do  know  it?" 

"Sire,  sire,"  said  the  musketeer,  without  seeking  even  to 
conceal  his  dissatisfaction;  "but  I  must  be  permitted  to  say 
to  your  majesty  that  it  is  not  worth  while  to  make  me  use 
such  speed,  to  risk  twenty  times  the  breaking  of  my  neck, 
to  salute  me  on  my  arrival  with  such  intelligence.  Sire, 
when  people  are  not  trusted,  or  are  deemed  insuflScient, 
they  should  not  be  employed."  And  D'Artagnan,  with  a 
movement  perfectly  military,  stamped  with  his  foot,  and 
left  upon  the  floor  dust  stained  with  blood.  The  king 
looked  at  him,  inwardly  enjoying  his  first  triumph. 

"Monsieur,"  said  he,  at  the  expiration  of  a  minute,  "not 
only  is  Belle  Isle  known  to  me,  but,  still  further.  Belle  Isle 
is  mine." 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  3 

"That  is  well!  that  is  well,  sire;  I  ask  no  more,"  replied 
D'Artagnan.     "My  discharge." 

"What!  your  discharge?" 

"Without  doubt.  I  am  too  proud  to  eat  the  bread  of  the 
king  without  gaining  it,  or  rather,  by  gaining  it  badly. 
My  discharge,  sire!" 

"Oh!  oh!" 

"I  ask  for  my  discharge,  or  I  shall  take  it." 

"You  are  angry,  monsieur?" 

"I  have  reason,  moi'diouz!  I  am  thirty-two  hours  in  the 
saddle;  I  ride  night  and  day;  I  perform  prodigies  of  speed; 
I  arrive  stiff  as  the  corpse  of  a  man  who  has  been  hung,  and 
another  arrives  before  me!  Come,  sire,  I  am  a  fool!  My 
discharge,  sire!" 

"Monsieur  d'Artagnan,"  said  Louis,  leaning  his  white 
hand  upon  the  dusty  arm  of  the  musketeer,  "what  I  tell 
you  will  not  at  all  affect  that  which  I  promised  you.  A 
word  given,  a  word  should  be  kept."  And  the  king,  going 
straight  to  his  table,  opened  a  drawer,  and  took  out  a  folded 

"Here  is  your  commission  of  captain  of  musketeers;  you 
have  won  it,  Monsieur  d'Artagnan." 

D'Artagnan  opened  the  paper  eagerly,  and  looked  at  it 
twice.     He  could  scarcely  believe  his  eyes. 

"And  this  commission  is  given  you,"  continued  the  king, 
"not  only  on  account  of  your  journey  to  Belle  Isle,  but, 
moreover,  for  your  brave  intervention  at  the  Place  de 
Greve.     There,  likewise,  you  served  me  valiantly." 

"Ah!  ah!"  said  D'Artagnan,  without  his  own  command 
being  able  to  prevent  a  certain  redness  mounting  to  his 
eyes;  "you  know  that  also,  sire?" 

"Yes,  I  know  it." 

The  king  possessed  a  piercing  glance  and  an  infallible 
judgment,  when  it  was  his  object  to  read  a  conscience. 
"You  have  something  to  say,"  said  he  to  the  musketeer, 
"something  to  say  which  you  do  not  say.  Come,  speak 
freely,  monsieur;  you  know  that  I  told  you,  once  for  all, 
that  you  are  to  be  quite  frank  with  me." 

"Well,  sire,  what  I  have  to  say  is  this,  that  I  would  prefer 
being  made  captain  of  musketeers  for  having  charged  a 
battery  at  the  head  of  my  company  or  taken  a  city,  than  for 
causing  two  wretches  to  be  hung." 

"Is  that  quite  true  that  you  tell  me?" 

"And  why  should  your  majesty  suspect  me  of  dissimula- 
tion, I  ask?" 

4  TEN    YEARS    LATEB. 

"Because  I  know  you  well,  monsieur;  you  cannot  repent 
of  having  drawn  your  sword  for  me." 

"Well,  in  that  your  majesty  is  deceived,  and  greatly. 
Yes,  I  do  repent  of  having  drawn  my  sword,  on  account  of 
the  results  that  action  produced;  the  poor  men  who  were 
hung,  sire,  were  neither  your  enemies  nor  mine,  and  they 
could  not  defend  themselves." 

The  king  preserved  silence  for  a  moment.  "And  your 
companion,  Monsieur  d'Artagnan,  does  he  partake  of  your 

"My  companion?" 

"Yes.     You  were  not  alone,  I  have  been  told." 

"Alone,  where?" 

"At  the  Place  de  Greve." 

"No,  sire,  no,"  said  D'Artagnan,  blushing  at  the  idea 
that  the  king  might  have  a  suspicion  that  he,  D'Artagnan, 
had  wished  to  engross  to  himself  all  the  glory  that  belonged 
to  Raoul;  "no,  mordioux!  and,  as  your  majesty  says,  I  had 
a  companion,  and  a  good  companion,  too." 

"A  young  man?" 

"Yes,  sire,  a  young  man.  Oh!  your  majesty  must  accept 
my  compliments;  you  are  as  well  informed  of  things  out-of- 
doors  as  with  things  within.  It  is  Monsieur  Colbert  who 
makes  all  these  fine  reports  to  the  king." 

"Monsieur  Colbert  had  said  nothing  but  good  of  you. 
Monsieur  d'Artagnan,  and  he  would  have  met  with  a  bad 
reception  if  he  had  come  to  tell  me  anything  else." 

"That  is  fortunate." 

"But  he  also  said  much  good  of  that  young  man." 

"And  with  justice,"  said  the  musketeer. 

"In  short,  it  appears  that  this  young  man  is  a  brave," 
said  Louis,  in  order  to  sharpen  the  sentiment  which  he  mis- 
took for  envy. 

"A  brave!  Yes,  sire,"  repeated  D'Artagnan,  delighted 
on  his  part  to  direct  the  king's  attention  to  Raoul. 

"Do  you  not  know  his  name?'^ 

"Well,  I  think " 

"You  know  him  then?" 

"I  have  known  him  nearly  twenty-five  years,  sire." 

"Why,  he  is  scarcely  twenty-five  years  old!"  cried  the 

"Well,  sire;  I  have  known  him  ever  since  his  birth,  that 
is  all." 

"Do  you  affirm  that?" 

"Sire,"  said  D'Artagnan,   "your  majesty  questions  me 

TEN"    TEAES    LATEK.  5 

with  a  mistrust  in  which  I  recognize  another  character  than 
your  own.  Monsieur  Colbert,  who  has  so  well  informed 
you,  has  he  not  forgotten  to  tell  you  that  this  young  man  is 
the  son  of  my  most  intimate  friend?" 

"The  Vicomte  de  Bragelonne  is?" 

"Certainly,  sire.  The  father  of  the  Vicomte  de  Brage- 
lonne is  Monsieur  le  Comte  de  la  Fere,  who  so  powerfully 
assisted  in  the  restoration  of  King  Charles  II.  Bragelonne 
is  of  a  valiant  race,  sire." 

"Then  he  is  the  son  of  that  nobleman  who  came  to  me, 
or  rather,  to  Monsieur  Mazarin,  on  the  part  of  King  Charles 
II.,  to  offer  me  his  alliance?" 

"Exactly,  sire." 

"And  the  Comte  de  la  Fere  is  a  brave,  say  you?" 

"Sire,  he  is  a  man  who  has  drawn  his  sword  R:ore  times 
for  the  king,  your  father,  than  there  are,  at  present,  days 
in  the  happy  life  of  your  majesty." 

It  was  Louis  XIV.  who  now  bit  his  lips  in  his  turn. 

"That  is  well.  Monsieur  d'Artagnan,  very  well!  And 
Monsieur  le  Comte  de  la  Fere  is  your  friend,  say  you?" 

"For  about  forty  years — yes,  sire.  Your  majesty  may  see 
that  I  do  not  speak  to  you  of  yesterday." 

"Should  you  be  glad  to  see  this  young  man.  Monsieur 

"Delighted,  sire." 

The  king  touched  his  bell,  and  an  usher  appeared. 

"Call  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne,"  said  the  king. 

"Ah!  ah!  he  is  here?"  said  D'Artagnan. 

"He  is  on  guard  to-day  at  the  Louvre,  with  the  company 
of  the  gentlemen  of  Monsieur  le  Prince." 

The  king  had  scarcely  ceased  speaking,  when  Eaoul  pre- 
sented himself,  and,  on  seeing  D'Artagnan,  smiled  on  him 
with  that  charming  smile  which  is  only  found  upon  the  lips 
of  youth. 

"Come,  come,"  said  D^Artagnan  familiarly,  to  Eaoul, 
"the  king  "will  allow  you  to  embrace  me;  only  tell  his 
majesty  you  thank  him." 

Eaoul  bowed  so  gracefully  that  Louis,  to  whom  all 
superior  qualities  were  pleasing  when  they  did  not  affect 
anything  against  his  own,  admired  his  beauty,  strength, 
and  modesty. 

"Monsieur,"  said  the  king,  addressing  Eaoul,  "I  have 
asked  Monsieur  le  Prince  to  be  kind  enough  to  give  you  up 
to  me.  I  have  received  his  reply,  and  you  belong  to  me 
from  this  morning.  Monsieur  le  Prince  was  a  good  master, 
but  I  hope  you  will  not  lose  by  the  change." 


"Yes,  yes,  Kaoul,  be  satisfied;  the  king  has  some  good  in 
him/'  said  D'Artagnan,  who  had  fathomed  the  character  of 
Louis,  and  who  played  with  his  self-love,  within  certain 
limits;  always  observing,  be  it  understood,  the  proprieties, 
and  flattering,  even  when  he  appeared  to  be  bantering, 

"Sire,"  said  Bragelonne,  with  a  voice  soft  and  musical, 
and  with  the  natural  and  easy  elocution  he  inherited  from 
his  father — "sire,  it  is  not  from  to-day  that  I  belong  to  your 

"Oh!  no,  I  know,"  said  the  king;  "you  mean  your  enter- 
prise of  the  Greve.  That  day  you  were  truly  mine,  mon- 

"Sire,  it  is  not  of  that  day  I  would  speak;  it  would  not 
become  me  to  refer  to  so  paltry  a  service  in  the  presence  of 
such  a  man  as  Monsieur  d'Artagnan.  I  would  speak  of  a 
circumstance  which  created  an  epoch  in  my  life,  and  which 
consecrated  me,  from  the  age  of  sixteen,  to  the  devoted 
service  of  your  majesty." 

"Ah!  ah!"  said  the  king,  "what  is  that  circumstance? 
Tell  me,  monsieur." 

"This  is  it,  sire.  When  I  was  setting  out  on  my  first 
campaign,  that  is  to  say,  to  join  the  army  of  Monsieur  le 
Prince,  Monsieur  le  Comte  de  la  Fere  came  to  conduct  me 
as  far  as  St.  Denis,  where  the  remains  of  King  Louis  XIII. 
wait,  upon  the  lowest  steps  of  the  funereal  hasiUque,  a  suc- 
cessor, whom  God  will  not  send  him,  I  hope,  for  many 
years.  Then  he  made  me  swear  upon  the  ashes  of  our  mas- 
ters, to  serve  royalty  represented  by  you — incarnate  in  you, 
sire — to  serve  it  in  word,  in  thought,  and  in  action.  I 
swore,  and  God  and  the  dead  were  witnesses  to  my  oath. 
During  ten  years,  sire,  I  have  not  so  often  as  I  desired  had 
occasion  to  keep  it.  I  am  a  soldier  of  your  majesty,  and 
nothing  else;  and,  on  calling  me  nearer  to  you,  I  do  not 
change  my  master,  I  only  change  my  garrison." 

Eaoul  was  silent,  and  bowed.  Louis  still  listened  after 
he  had  done  speaking. 

"Mordioux!"  cried  D'Artagnan,  "that  is  well  spoken!  is 
it  not,  your  majesty?     A  good  race!  a  noble  race!" 

"Yes,"  murmured  the  agitated  king,  without,  however, 
daring  to  manifest  his  emotion,  for  it  had  no  other  cause 
than  the  contact  with  a  nature  eminently  aristocratic. 
"Yes,  monsieur,  you  say  truly;  wherever  you  were,  you 
were  the  king's.  But  in  changing  your  garrison,  believe 
me,  you  will  find  an  advancement  of  which  you  are  worthy." 

Eaoul  saw  that  there  stopped  what  the  king  had  to  say  to 


him;  and  with  that  perfect  tact  which  characterized  his  re- 
fined nature,  he  bowed  and  retired. 

"Is  there  anything  else,  monsieur,  of  which  you  have  to 
inform  me?"  said  the  king,  when  he  found  himself  again 
alone  with  D'Artagnan. 

"Yes,  sire;  and  I  kept  that  news  for  the  last,  for  it  is 
sad,  and  will  clothe  European  royalty  in  mourning." 

"What  do  you  tell  me?" 

"Sire,  in  passing  through  Blois,  a  word,  a  sad  word, 
echoed  from  the  palace,  struck  my  ear." 

"In  truth,  you  terrify  me,  Monsieur  d'Artagnan." 

"Sire,  this  word  was  pronounced  to  me  by  a  piqueur  who 
wore  a  crape  on  his  arm. 

"My  uncle,  Gaston  of  Orleans,  perhaps?" 

"Sire,  he  has  rendered  his  last  sigh." 

"And  I  was  not  warned  of  it!"  cried  the  king,  whose 
royal  susceptibility  saw  an  insult  in  the  absence  of  this  in- 

"Oh,  do  not  be  angry,  sire,"  said  D'Artagnan;  "neither 
the  couriers  of  Paris  nor  the  couriers  of  the  whole  world 
can  travel  with  your  servant;  the  courier  from  Blois  will  not 
be  here  these  two  hours,  and  he  rides  well,  I  assure  you, 
seeing  that  I  only  passed  him  on  the  other  side  of  Orleans." 

"My  uncle  Gaston,"  murmured  Louis,  pressing  his  hand 
to  his  brow,  and  comprising  in  those  three  words  all  that 
his  memory  recalled  of  that  name  of  opposite  sentiments. 

"Eh!  yes,  sire,  it  is  thus,"  said  D'Artagnan,  philosophic- 
ally replying  to  the  royal  thought — "it  is  thus  the  past  flies 

"That  is  true,  monsieur,  that  is  true;  but  there  remains 
for  us,  thank  God,  the  future;  and  we  will  try  to  make  it 
not  too  dark." 

"I  feel  confidence  in  your  majesty  on  that  head,"  said 
D'Artagnan,  bowing;  "and  now " 

"You  are  right,  monsieur;  I  had  forgotten  the  hundred 
leagues  you  have  just  ridden.  Go,  monsieur;  take  care  of 
one  of  the  best  of  soldiers,  and  when  you  have  reposed  a 
little,  come  and  place  yourself  at  my  orders," 

"Sire,  absent  or  present,  I  always  am  so." 

D'Artagnan  bowed  and  retired.  Then,  as  if  he  had  only 
come  from  Fontainebleau,  he  quickly  traversed  the  Louvre 
to  rejoin  Bragelouue. 

8  *  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 



"While  the  wax-lights  were  burning  in  the  castle  of  Blois, 
around  the  inanimate  body  of  Gaston  of  Orleans,  that  last 
representative  of  the  past;  while  the  bourgeois  of  the  city 
were  making  his  epitaph,  which  was  far  from  being  a 
panegyric;  while  madame  the  dowager,  no  longer  remem- 
bei'ing  that  in  her  young  days  she  had  loved  that  senseless 
corpse  to  such  a  degree  as  to  fly  the  paternal  palace  for  his 
sake,  was  making,  v/ithiu  twenty  paces  of  the  funeral  apart- 
ment, her  little  calculations  of  interest  and  her  little  sacri- 
fices of  pride,  other  interests  and  other  prides  were  in  agita- 
tion m  all  the  parts  of  the  castle  into  which  a  living  soul 
could  penetrate.  Neither  the  lugubrious  sounds  of  the 
beils,  nor  the  voices  of  the  chanters,  nor  the  splendor  of  the 
wax-lights  through  the  windows,  nor  the  preparations  for 
the  funeral,  had  the  power  to  divert  the  attention  of  two 
persons,  placed  at  a  window  of  the  interior  court — a  window 
that  we  are  acquainted  with,  and  which  lightened  a  cham- 
ber forming  part  of  what  were  called  the  little  apartments. 
For  the  rest,  a  joyous  beam  of  the  sun,  for  the  sun  appeared 
to  care  very  little  for  the  loss  France  had  just  suffered — a 
sunbeam,  we  say,  descended  upon  them,  drawing  perfumes 
from  the  neighboring  flowers,  and  animating  the  walls 
themselves.  These  two  persons,  so  occupied,  not  by  the 
death  of  the  duke,  but  by  the  conversation  which  was  the 
consequence  of  that  death,  these  two  persons  were  a  young 
woman  and  a  young  man.  The  latter  personage,  a  man  of 
from  twenty-five  to  twenty-six  years  of  age,  with  a  mien 
sometimes  lively  and  sometimes  dull,  making  good  use  of 
two  immensely  large  eyes  shaded  with  long  eyelashes,  was 
short  of  stature  and  brown  of  skin;  he  smiled  with  an  enor- 
mous but  well-furnished  mouth,  and  his  pointed  chin,  which 
appeared  to  enjoy  a  mobility  which  nature  does  not  ordi- 
narily grant  to  that  portion  of  the  countenance,  leaned  from 
time  to  time  very  lovingly  toward  his  interlocutrix,  who,  we 
must  say,  did  not  always  draw  back  so  rapidly  as  strict  pro- 
priety had  a  right  to  require.  The  young  girl — we  know 
her,  for  we  have  already  seen  her  at  that  very  same  window 
by  the  light  of  that  same  sun — the  young  girl  presented  a 
singular  mixture  of  slyness  and  reflection;  she  was  charming 
when  she  laughed,  beautiful  when  she  became  serious;  but. 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  9 

let  US  hasten  to  say,  she  was  more  frequently  charming  than 
beautiful.  The  two  persons  appeared  to  have  attained  the  cul- 
minating point  of  a  discussion,  half-bantering,  half-serious. 

"Now,  Monsieur  Malicorne,"  said  the  young  girl,  "does 
it,  at  length,  please  you  that  we  should  talk  reasonably?" 

"You  believe  that  that  is  very  easy.  Mademoiselle  Aure,'* 
replied  the  young  man. 

"To  do  what  we  like,  when  we  can  only  do  what  we  are 
able " 

"Good!"  said  the  young  man;  "there  she  is  bewildered 
in  her  phrases." 

"Who,  I?" 

"Yes,  you;  leave  that  lawyers'  logic,  my  dear." 

"Another  impossibility." 

"Clerk,  I  am  Mademoiselle  de  Montalais." 

"Demoiselle,  I  am  Monsieur  Malicorne." 

"Alas,  I  know  it  well,  and  you  overwhelm  me  by  dis- 
tance; so  I  will  say  no  more  to  you." 

"Well,  but,  no,  I  don't  overwhelm  you;  say  what  you 
have  to  tell  me — say  it,  I  insist  upon  it." 

"Well,  I  obey  you." 

"That  is  truly  fortunate." 

"Monsieur  is  dead." 

"Ah,  peste!  there's  news!  And  where  do  you  come  from, 
to  be  able  to  tell  us  that?" 

"I  come  from  Orleans,  mademoiselle." 

"And  is  that  all  the  news  you  bring?" 

"Ah,  no;  I  am  come  to  tell  you  that  Madame  Henrietta 
of  England  is  coming  to  marry  his  majesty's  brother." 

"Indeed,  Malicorne,  you  are  insupportable  with  your  news 
of  the  last  century.  Now,  mind,  if  you  persist  in  this  bad 
habit  of  laughing  at  people,  I  will  have  you  turned  out." 


"Yes;  for  really  you  exasperate  me." 

"There,  there!     Patience,  mademoiselle." 

"You  want  to  make  yourself  of  consequence;  I  know  well 
enough  why.     Go!" 

"Tell  me,  and  I  will  answer  you  frankly,  yes,  if  the  thing 
be  true." 

"You  know  that  I  am  anxious  to  have  that  commission  of 
lady  of  honor,  which  I  have  been  foolish  enough  to  ask  of 
you,  and  you  do  not  use  your  credit." 

"Who,  I?"  Malicorne  cast  down  his  eyes,  joined  his 
hands,  and  assumed  his  sullen  air.  "And  what  credit  can 
the  poor  clerk  of  a  procureur  have,  pray?" 

10  TEN   TEARS    LATER. 

"Your  father  has  not  twenty  tliousand  livres  a  year  for 
nothing,  Monsienr  Malicorne." 

"A  provincial  fortune.  Mademoiselle  de  Montalais." 

"Your  father  is  not  in  the  secrets  of  Monsieur  le  Prince 
for  nothing." 

"An  advantage  which  is  confined  to  lending  monseigneur 

"In  a  word,  you  are  not  the  most  cunning  young  fellow 
in  the  province  for  nothing." 

"You  flatter  me!" 

"Who,  I?" 

"Yes,  you." 

"How  so?" 

"Since  I  maintain  that  I  have  no  credit,  and  you  main- 
tain I  have." 

"Well,  then,  my  commission?" 

"Well,  your  commission?" 

"Shall  I  have  it,  or  shall  I  not?" 

"You  shall  have  it." 

"Ay,  but  when?" 

"When  you  like." 

"Where  is  it,  then?" 

"In  my  pocket." 

"How!  in  your  pocket?" 

"Yes."  And,  with  a  smile,  Malicorne  drew  from  his 
pocket  a  letter,  upon  which  Montalais  seized  as  a  prey,  and 
which  she  read  with  avidity.  As  she  read,  her  face  bright- 

"Malicorne,"  cried  she,  after  having  read  it,  "in  truth, 
y^ou  are  a  good  lad." 

"What  for,  mademoiselle?" 

"Because  you  might  have  been  paid  for  this  commission, 
and  you  have  not."  And  she  burst  into  a  loud  laugh, 
thinking  to  put  the  clerk  out  of  countenance;  but  Mali- 
corne sustained  the  attack  bravely. 

"I  do  not  understand  you,"  said  he.  It  was  now  Monta- 
lais who  was  disconcerted  in  her  turn.  "I  have  declared  my 
sentiments  to  you,"  continued  Malicorne.  "You  have  told 
me  three  times,  laughing  all  the  while,  that  you  did  not 
love  me;  you  have  embraced  me  once  without  laughing, 
and  that  is  all  I  want." 

"All?"  said  the  proud  and  coquettish  Montalais,  in  a 
tone  through  which  wounded  pride  was  visible. 

"Absolutely  all,  mademoiselle,"  replied  Malicorne. 


TEN   TEAES    LATER.  11 

And  this  monosyllable  indicated  as  much  anger  as  the 
young  man  might  have  expected  gratitude.  He  shook  his 
head  quietly. 

"Listen,  Montalais,"  said  he,  without  heeding  whether 
that  familiarity  pleased  his  mistress  or  not;  "let  us  not  dis- 
pute about  it." 

"And  why  not?" 

"Because,  during  the  year  which  I  have  known  you,  you 
might  have  had  me  turned  out-of-doors  twenty  times  if  I 
did  not  please  you." 

"Indeed;  and  on  what  account  should  I  have  had  you 
turned  out?" 

"Because  I  had  been  sufficiently  impertinent  for  that." 

"Oh,  that! — yes,  that's  true." 

"You  see  plainly  that  you  are  forced  to  avow  it,"  said 

"Monsieur  Malicorne!" 

"Don't  let  us  be  angry;  if  you  have  retained  me,  then  it 
has  not  been  without  cause." 

"It  is  not,  at  least,  because  I  love  you,"  cried  Montalais. 

"Granted.  I  will  even  say  that,  at  this  moment,  I  am 
certain  that  you  execrate  me." 

"Oh,  you  have  never  spoken  so  truly." 

"Well,  on  my  part,  I  detest  you." 

"Ah,  I  take  the  act." 

"Take  it.  You  find  me  brutal  and  foolish;  on  my  part,  I 
fiind  you  with  a  harsh  voice  and  your  face  distorted  with 
anger.  At  this  moment  you  would  allow  yourself  to  be 
thrown  out  of  that  window  rather  than  allow  me  to  kiss  the 
tip  of  your  finger;  I  would  precipitate  myself  from  the  top 
of  the  balcony  rather  than  touch  the  hem  of  your  robe. 
But  in  five  minutes  you  will  love  me,  and  I  shall  adore  you. 
Oh,  it  is  just  so." 

"I  doubt  it." 

"And  I  swear  it." 


"And  then,  that  is  not  the  true  reason.  You  stand  in 
need  of  me,  sure,  and  I  of  you.  When  it  pleases  you  to  be 
gay,  I  make  you  laugh;  when  it  suits  me  to  be  loving,  I 
look  at  you.  I  have  given  you  a  commission  of  lady  of 
honor  which  you  wished  for;  you  will  give  me,  presently, 
something  I  wish  for." 

"I  will?" 

"Yes,  you  will;  but  at  this  moment,  my  dear  Aure,  I  de- 
clare to  you  that  I  wish  for  absolutely  nothing;  so  be  at 


''You  are  a  frightful  man,  Malicorne.  I  was  going  to  re- 
joice at  getting  this  commission,  and  thus  you  take  away  all 
my  joy." 

"Good!  there  is  no  time  lost;  you  will  rejoice  when  I  am 

"Go,  then;  and  after " 

"So  be  it;  but,  in  the  first  place,  a  piece  of  advice." 

"What  is  it?" 

"Eesume  your  good  humor,  you  are  ugly  when  you  pout." 

"Coarse  I" 

"Come,  let  us  tell  our  truths  to  each  other,  while  we  are 
about  it." 

"Oh,  Malicorne!     Bad-hearted  man!" 

"Oh,  Montalais!     Ungrateful  girl!" 

The  young  man  leaned  with  his  elbow  upon  the  window- 
frame;  Montalais  took  a  book  and  opened  it.  Malicorne 
stood  up,  brushed  his  hat  with  his  sleeve,  smoothed  down 
his  black  pourpoint;  Montalais,  though  pretending  to  read, 
looked  at  him  out  of  the  corner  of  her  eye. 

"Good!"  cried  she,  quite  furious;  "he  has  assumed  his 
respectful  air — and  he  will  pout  for  a  week." 

"A  fortnight,  mademoiselle,"  said  Malicorne,  bowing. 

Montalais  lifted  up  her  little  doubled  fist.  "Monster!'* 
said  she;  "oh,  that  I  were  a  man!" 

"What  would  you  do  to  me?" 

"I  would  strangle  you." 

"Ah!  very  well,  then,"  said  Malicorne;  "I  believe  I  begin 
to  desire  something." 

"And  what  do  you  desire.  Monsieur  Demon?  That  I 
should  lose  my  soul  from  anger?" 

Malicorne  was  rolling  his  hat  respectfully  between  his  fin- 
gers; but  all  at  once  he  let  fall  his  hat,  seized  the  young 
girl  by  the  two  shoulders,  pulled  her  toward  him,  and  ap- 
plied to  her  lips  two  other  very  warm  lips  for  a  man  pre 
tending  to  so  much  indifference.  Aure  would  have  cried 
out,  but  the  cry  was  stifled  in  the  kiss.  Nervous  and  ap- 
parently angry,  the  young  girl  pushed  Malicorne  against  the 

"Good!"  said  Malicorne  philosophically,  "that's  enough 
for  six  weeks.  Adieu,  mademoiselle;  accept  my  very  hum- 
ble salutation."     And  he  made  three  steps  toward  the  door. 

"Well!  no,  you  shall  not  go!"  cried  Montalais,  stamping 
with  her  little  foot.     "Stay  where  you  are!     I  order  you!" 

"You  order  me?" 

"Yes;  am  I  not  mistress?" 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  13 

"Of  my  heart  and  soul,  without  doubt." 

"A  pretty  property!  ma  foi!  The  soul  is  silly  and  the 
heart  dry." 

"Beware,  Montalais,  I  know  you,"  said  Malicorne;  "you 
are  going  to  fall  in  love  with  your  humble  servant." 

"XVell,  yes!"  said  she,  hanging  round  his  neck  with 
childish  indolence  rather  than  with  loving  abandonment. 
"Well,  yes!  for  I  must  thank  you  at  least." 

"And  for  what?" 

"For  the  commission;  is  it  not  my  whole  future?" 

"And  all  mine." 

Montalais  looked  at  him. 

"It  is  frightful,"  said  she,  "that  one  can  never  guess 
whether  you  are  speaking  seriously  or  not." 

"I  cannot  speak  more  seriously.  I  was  going  to  Paris — 
you  were  going  there — we  are  going  there." 

"And  so  it  was  for  that  motive  only  you  have  served  me; 
selfish  fellow!" 

"What  would  you  have  me  say,  Aure?  I  cannot  live 
without  you." 

"Well!  in  truth,  it  is  just  so  with  me;  you  are,  neverthe- 
less, it  must  be  confessed,  a  very  bad-hearted  young  man." 

"Aure,  my  dear  Aure,  take  care!  If  you  take  to  calling 
names  again,  you  know  the  effect  they  produce  upon  me, 
and  I  shall  adore  you."  And  so  saying,  Malicorne  drew  the 
young  girl  a  second  time  toward  him.  But  at  that  instant 
a  step  resounded  on  the  staircase.  The  young  people  were 
so  close  that  they  would  have  been  surprised  in  the  arms  of 
each  other,  if  Montalais  had  not  violently  pushed  Malicorne, 
with  his  back  against  the  door,  just  then  opening.  A  loud 
cry,  followed  by  angry  reproaches,  immediately  resounded. 
It  was  Mme.  de  St.  Kemy  who  uttered  the  cry  and  proffered 
the  angry  words.  The  unlucky  Malicorne  almost  crushed 
her  between  the  wall  and  the  door  she  was  coming  in  at. 

"It  is  again  that  good-for-nothing!"  cried  the  old  lady. 
"Always  here!" 

"Ah,  madame!"  replied  Malicorne,  in  a  respectful  tone, 
"it  is  eight  long  days  since  I  was  here." 

14  TElSr    YEARS    LATER. 



Behind  Mme.  de  St.  Kemy  came  up  Mile,  de  la  Valliere. 
She  heard  the  explosion  of  maternal  anger,  and  as  she  di- 
vined the  cause  of  it,  she  entered  the  chamber  trembling, 
and  perceived  the  unlucky  Malicorne,  whose  woeful  counte- 
nance might  have  softened  or  set  laughing  whoever  might 
have  observed  it  coolly.  He  had  promptly  intrenched  him- 
self behind  a  large  chair,  as  if  to  avoid  the  first  attacks  of 
Mme.  de  St.  Eemy;  he  had  no  hopes  of  prevailing  with 
words,  for  she  spoke  louder  than  he,  and  without  stopping; 
but  he  reckoned  upon  the  eloquence  of  his  gestures.  The 
old  lady  would  neither  listen  to  nor  see  anything.  Mali- 
corne had  long  been  one  of  her  antipathies;  but  her  anger 
was  too  great  not  to  overflow  from  Malicorne  on  to  his  ac- 
complice.    Montalais  had  her  turn. 

"And  you,  mademoiselle;  and  you,  may  you  not  be  cer- 
tain I  shall  inform  madame  of  what  is  going  on  in  the 
apartment  of  one  of  her  ladies  of  honor?" 

"Oh,  dear  mother!"  cried  Mile,  de  la  Valliere,  "for 
mercy's  sake,  spare " 

"Hold  your  tongue,  mademoiselle,  and  do  not  uselessly 
trouble  yourself  to  intercede  for  unworthy  subjects.  That 
a  young  maid  of  honor  like  you  should  be  subjected  to  a 
bad  example  is,  certes,  a  misfortune  great  enough;  but  that 
you  should  sanction  it  by  your  indulgence  is  what  I  will  not 

"But  in  truth,"  said  Montalais,  rebelling  again,  "I  do 
not  know  under  what  pretense  you  treat  me  thus.  I  am 
doing  no  harm,  I  suppose?" 

"And  that  great  good-for-nothing,  mademoiselle,"  re- 
sumed Mme.  de  St.  Eemy,  pointing  to  Malicorne,  "is  he 
here  to  do  any  good,  I  ask  you?" 

"He  is  neither  here  for  "good  nor  harm,  madame;  he 
comes  to  see  me,  that  is  all." 

"It  is  all  very  well!  all  very  well!"  said  the  old  lady. 
"Her  royal  highness  shall  be  informed  of  it,  and  she  will 

"At  all  events,  I  do  not  see  why,"  replied  Montalais,  '"'it 
should  be  forbidden  that  Monsieur  Malicorne  should  have 
intentions  toward  me,  if  his  intentions  are  honorable." 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  15 

"Honorable  intentions  with  such  a  face!"  cried  Mme.  de 
St.  Remy. 

"I  thank  you  in  the  name  of  my  face,  madame,"  said 

"Come,  my  daughter,  come,"  continued  Mme.  de  St. 
Eemy;  "we  will  go  and  inform  madame  that  at  the  very 
moment  she  is  weeping  for  her  husband,  at  the  moment 
when  we  are  all  weeping  for  a  master  in  this  old  castle  of 
Blois,  the  abode  of  grief,  there  are  people  who  amuse  them- 
selves with  rejoicing." 

"Oh!"  cried  both  the  accused  with  one  voice. 

"A  maid  of  honor!  a  maid  of  honor!"  cried  the  old  lady, 
lifting  her  hands  toward  heaven. 

"Well,  it  is  that  in  which  you  are  mistaken,  madame," 
said  Montalais,  highly  exasperated;  "I  am  no  longer  a  maid 
of  honor,  of  madame's,  at  least." 

"Have  you  given  in  your  resignation,  mademoiselle? 
That  is  well;  I  cannot  but  applaud  such  a  determination, 
and  I  do  applaud  it." 

"I  did  not  give  in  my  resignation,  madame;  I  have  taken 
another  service,  that  is  all." 

"In  the  bourgeoisie  or  in  the  robe?"  asked  Mme.  de  St. 
Eemy  disdainfully. 

"Please  to  learn,  madame,  that  I  am  not  a  girl  to  serve 
either  bourgeoises  or  rohines;  and  that  instead  of  the  miser- 
able court  at  which  you  vegetate,  I  am  going  to  reside  in  a 
court  almost  royal." 

"Ah!  ah!  a  royal  court,"  said  Mme.  de  St.  Remy,  forc- 
ing a  laugh;  "a  royal  court!  What  think  you  of  that,  my 

And  she  turned  round  toward  Mile,  de  la  Valliere,  whom 
she  would  by  main  force  have  dragged  away  from  Montalais, 
and  who,  instead  of  obeying  the  impulse  of  Mme.  de  St. 
Eomy,  looked  first  at  her  mother  and  then  at  Montalais 
with  her  beautiful,  conciliatory  eyes. 

"I  did  not  say  a  royal  court,  madame,"  replied  Monta- 
lais; "because  Madame  Henrietta  of  England,  who  is  about 
to  become  the  wife  of  S.  A.  R.  Monsieur,  is  not  a  queen.  I 
said,  almost  royal,  and  I  spoke  correctly,  since  she  will  be 
sister-in-law  to  the  king." 

A  thunderbolt  falling  upon  the  castle  of  Blois  would  not 
have  astonished  Mme.  de  St.  Remy  as  did  the  last  sentence 
of  Montalais. 

"What  do  you  say  of  Son  Altesse  Eoyale  Madame  Henri- 
etta?" stammered  out  the  old  lady. 

16  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

"I  say  I  am  going  to  belong  to  her  household,  as  maid  of 
honor;  that  is  what  I  say." 

"As  maid  of  honor!"  cried,  at  the  same  time,  Mme.  de 
St.  Kemy,  with  despair,  and  Mile,  de  la  Valliere  with  de- 

"Yes,  madame,  as  maid  of  honor." 

The  old  lady's  head  sank  down  as  if  the  blow  had  been 
too  severe  for  her.  But,  almost  immediately  recovering 
herself,  she  launched  a  last  projectile  at  her  adversary. 

"Oh!  oh!"  said  she;  "I  have  heard  of  many  of  these  sorts  of 
promises  beforehand,  which  often  lead  people  to  flatter  them- 
selves with  wild  hopes,  and,  at  the  last  moment,  when  the 
time  comes  to  keep  the  promises,  and  have  the  hopes  real- 
ized, they  are  surprised  to  see  the  great  credit  upon  which 
they  reckoned  reduced  to  smoke." 

"Oh,  madame,  the  credit  of  my  protector  is  incontestable, 
and  his  promises  are  as  good  as  acts." 

"And  would  it  be  indiscreet  to  ask  you  the  name  of  this 
powerful  protector?" 

"Uh!  mon  Dieu!  no!  It  is  that  gentleman  there,"  said 
Montalais,  pointing  to  Malicorne,  who,  during  this  scene, 
had  preserved  the  most  imperturbable  coolness  and  the 
most  comic  dignity. 

"Monsieur!"  cried  Mme.  de  St.  Remy,  with  an  explosion 
of  hilarity,  "monsieur  is  your  protector!  Is  the  man  whose 
credit  is  so  powerful,  and  whose  promises  are  as  good  as 
acts.  Monsieur  Malicorne!"  Malicorne  bowed.  As  to  Mon- 
talais, as  her  sole  reply,  she  drew  the  brevet  from  her  pocket, 
and  showed  it  to  the  old  lady. 

"Here  is  the  brevet,"  said  she. 

At  once  all  was  over.  As  soon  as  she  had  cast  a  rapid 
glance  over  this  fortunate  brevet,  the  good  lady  clasped  her 
hands,  an  unspeakable  expression  of  envy  and  despair  con- 
tracted her  countenance,  and  she  was  obliged  to  sit  down  to 
avoid  fainting.  Montalais  was  not  malicious  enough  to  re- 
joice extravagantly  at  her  victory,  or  to  overwhelm  the  con- 
quered enemy,  particularly  when  that  enemy  was  the  mother 
of  her  friend;  she  used,  then,  but  did  not  abuse,  her  tri- 
umph. Malicorne  was  less  generous;  he  assumed  noble 
poses  in  his  fauteuil,  and  stretched  himself  out  with  a  fa- 
miliarity which,  two  hours  earlier,  would  have  drawn  upon 
him  threats  of  a  caning. 

"Maid  of  honor  to  the  young  madame!"  repeated  Mme. 
de  St.  Eemy,  still  but  half-convinced. 

TEISr    YEARS    LATER.  17 

"Yes,  madame,  and  through  the  protection  of  Monsieur 
Malicorne,  moreover." 

"It  is  incredible!"  repeated  the  old  lady;  "is  it  not  in- 
credible, Louise?"  But  Louise  did  not  reply;  she  was 
leaning,  thoughtful,  almost  afflicted;  passing  one  hand  over 
her  beautiful  brow,  she  sighed  heavily. 

"Well,  but,  monsieur,"  said  Mme.  de  St.  Remy,  all  at 
once,  "how  did  you  manage  to  obtain  this  post?" 

"I  asked  for  it,  madame." 

"Of  whom?" 

"One  of  my  friends." 

"And  have  you  friends  sufficiently  powerful  at  court  to 
give  you  such  proofs  of  their  credit?" 

'''Dame!  it  appears  so." 

"And  may  one  ask  the  name  of  these  friends?" 

"I  did  not  say  I  had  many  friends,  madame,  I  said  I  had 
one  friend." 

"And  that  friend  is  called?" 

^'Peste!  madame,  you  go  too  far!  When  one  has  a  friend 
as  powerful  as  mine,  we  do  not  publish  his  name  in  that 
fashion,  in  open  day,  in  order  that  he  may  be  stolen  from 

"You  are  right,  monsieur,  to  be  silent  as  to  that  name; 
for  I  think  it  would  be  pretty  difficult  for  you  to  tell  it." 

"At  all  events,"  said  Montalais,  "if  the  friend  does  not 
exist,  the  brevet  does  exist,  and  that  cuts  short  the  ques- 

"Then,  I  conceive,"  said  Mme.  de  St.  Eemy,  with  the 
gracious  smile  of  a  cat  who  is  going  to  scratch,  "when  I 
found  monsieur  here  just  now " 


"He  brought  you  the  brevet." 

"Exactly,  madame;  you  have  guessed  rightly." 

"Well,  then,  nothing  can  be  more  moral  or  proper." 

"I  think  so,  madame." 

"And  I  have  been  wrong,  as  it  appears,  in  reproaching 
you,  mademoiselle." 

"Very  wrong,  madame;  but  I  am  so  accustomed  to  your 
reproaches  that  I  pardon  you  these." 

"In  that  case,  let  us  be  gone,  Louise;  we  have  nothing  to 
do  but  to  retire.     Well!" 

"Madame,"  said  La  Valliere,  "did  you  speak?" 

"You  do  not  appear  to  listen,  my  child. ^' 

"No,  madame,  I  was  thinking." 

"About  what?'- 

18  TEN"   YEARS   LATER. 

"A  thousand  things." 

"You  bear  me  no  ill-will,  at  least,  Louise?"  cried  Monta- 
lais,  pressing  her  hand. 

"And  why  should  I,  my  dear  Aure?''  replied  the  girl,  in 
a  voice  soft  as  a  flute. 

'^DameV^  resumed  Mme.  de  St.  Remy;  "if  she  did  bear 
you  a  little  ill-will,  poor  girl,  she  could  not  be  much 

"And  why  should  she  bear  me  ill-will,  good  God?" 

"It  appears  to  me  that  she  is  of  as  good  a  family^  and  as 
pretty  as  you." 

"Mother!  mother!"  cried  Louise. 

"Prettier  a  hundred  times,  madame — not  of  a  better  fam- 
ily; but  that  does  not  tell  me  why  Louise  should  bear  me 

"Do  you  think  it  will  be  very  amusing  for  her  to  be  bur- 
ied alive  at  Blois,  when  you  are  going  to  shine  at  Paris?" 

"But,  madame,  it  is  not  I  who  prevents  Louise  following 
me  thither;  on  the  contrary,  I  should  certainly  be  most 
hajDpy  if  she  came  there." 

"But  it  appears  that  Monsieur  Malicorne,  who  is  all- 
powerful  at  court " 

"Ah!  so  much  the  worse,  madame,"  said  Malicorne; 
"every  one  for  himself  in  this  poor  world." 

"Malicorne!  Malicorne!"  said  Montalais.  Then  stooping 
toward  the  young  man: 

"Occupy  Madame  de  St.  Remy,  either  in  disputing  with 
her,  or  making  it  up  with  her;  I  must  speak  to  Louise.'* 
And,  at  the  same  time,  a  soft  pressure  of  the  hand  recom- 
pensed Malicorne  for  his  future  obedience.  Malicorne  went 
grumbling  toward  Mme.  de  St.  Remy,  while  Montalais  said 
to  her  friend,  throwing  one  arm  around  her  neck: 

"What  is  the  matter?  Say!  Is  it  true  that  you  would 
not  love  me  if  I  were  to  shine,  as  your  mother  says?" 

"Oh,  no!"  said  the  young  girl,  with  difficulty  restraining 
her  tears;  "on  the  contrary,  I  rejoice  at  your  good  fortune. 

"Rejoice!  why,  one  would  say  you  are  ready  to  cry!" 

"Do  people  never  weep  but  from  envy?" 

"Oh!  yes,  I  understand;  I  am  going  to  Paris;  and  that 
word  Paris  recalls  to  your  mind  a  certain  cavalier " 


"A  certain  cavalier  who  formerly  lived  near  Blois,  and 
who  now  resides  at  Paris." 

"In  truth,  I  know  not  what  ails  me,  but  I  feel  stifled." 

"Weep,  then,  weep,  as  you  cannot  give  me  a  smile!" 

TEX    YEARS    LATER.  19 

Louise  raised  her  sweet  face,  which  the  tears,  rolling 
down  one  after  the  other,  illumined  like  diamonds. 

"Come,  confess,"  said  Montalais. 

"What  shall  I  confess?" 

"What  makes  you  Aveep;  people  don't  weep  without  a 
cause.  I  am  your  friend;  whatever  you  would  wish  me  to 
do,  I  will  do.  Malicorne  is  more  powerful  than  you  think. 
Do  you  wish  to  go  to  Paris?" 

"Alas!"  sighed  Louise. 

"Do  you  wish  to  come  to  Paris?" 

"To  remain  here  alone,  in  this  old  castle,  I  who  have  en- 
joyed the  delightful  habit  of  listening  to  your  songs,  of 
pressing  your  hand,  of  running  about  the  park  with  you. 
Oh!  how  I  shall  be  ennuyee!  how  quickly  I  shall  die!" 

"Do  you  wish  to  come  to  Paris?" 

Louise  breathed  another  sigh. 

"You  do  not  answer  me." 

"What  would  you  that  I  should  answer  you?" 

"Yes  or  no;  that  is  not  very  difficult,  I  think." 

"Oh!  you  are  very  fortunate,  Montalais!" 

"That  is  to  say  you  would  like  to  be  in  my  place." 

Louise  was  silent. 

"Little  obstinate  thing!"  said  Montalais;  "did  ever  any 
one  keep  her  secrets  from  her  friend  thus?  But  confess 
that  you  would  like  to  come  to  Paris;  confess  that  you  are 
dying  with  the  wish  to  see  Kaoul  again?" 

"I  cannot  confess  that." 

"Then  you  are  wrong." 

"In  what  way?" 

"Because —    Do  you  see  this  brevet?" 

"To  be  sure  I  do." 

"Well,  I  would  have  made  you  have  a  similar  one." 

"By  whose  means?" 


"Aure,  do  you  tell  the  truth?    Is  that  possible?" 

'"''Darnel  Malicorne  is  there;  and  what  he  has  done  for  me 
he  must  be  sure  to  do  for  you." 

Malicorne  had  heard  his  name  pronounced  twice;  he  was 
delighted  at  having  an  opportunity  of  coming  to  a  conclu- 
sion with  Mme.  de  St.  Eemy,  and  he  turned  round: 

"What  is  the  question,  mademoiselle?" 

"Come  hither,  Malicorne,"  said  Montalais,  with  an  impe- 
rious gesture. 

Malicorne  obeyed. 

"A  brevet  like  thisi"  said  Montalais. 

20  lEN"   YEARS   LATER. 

"How  SO?'* 

"A  brevet  like  this;  that  is  plain  enough." 

''But " 

"I  want  one — I  must  have  one!" 

"Oh!  oh!  you  must  have  one?" 


"It,  is  impossible,  is  it  not,  Monsieur  Malicorne?"  said 
Louise,  with  ber  sweet  soft  voice. 

^'Dame!  if  it  is  for  you,  mademoiselle " 

"For  me.     Yes,  Monsieur  Malicorne,  it  would  be  for  me." 

"And  if  Mademoiselle  de  Montalais  asks  it  at  the  same 
time " 

"Mademoiselle  de  Montalais  does  not  ask  it,  she  requires 

"Well,  we  will  endeavor  to  obey  you,  mademoiselle." 

"And  you  will  have  her  named?" 

"We  will  try." 

"No  evasive  reply.  Louise  de  la  Yalliere  shall  be  maid 
of  honor  to  Madame  Henrietta  within  a  week." 

"How  you  talk!" 

"Within  a  week,  or  else " 

"Well,  or  else?" 

"You  may  take  back  your  brevet.  Monsieur  Malicorne;  I 
will  not  leave  my  friend." 

"Dear  Montalais!" 

"That  is  right.  Keep  your  brevet;  Mademoiselle  de  la 
Valliere  shall  be  a  maid  of  honor." 

"Is  that  true?" 

"Quite  true." 

"I  may  then  hope  to  go  to  Paris?" 

"Depend  upon  it." 

"Oh!  Monsieur  Malicorne,  what  gratitude!"  cried  Louise, 
clapping  her  hands,  and  bounding  with  joy. 

"Little  dissembler!"  said  Montalais,  "try  again  to  make 
me  believe  you  are  not  in  love  with  Raoul." 

Louise  blushed  like  a  rose  in  June,  but  instead  of  reply- 
ing, she  ran  and  embraced  her  mother.  "Madame,"  said 
she,  "do  you  know  that  Monsieur  Malicorne  is  going  to 
have  me  appointed  maid  of  honor?" 

"Monsieur  Malicorne  is  a  prince  in  disguise,"  replied  the 
old  lady;  "he  is  all-powerful,  seemingly." 

"Should  you  also  like  to  be  maid  of  honor?"  asked  Mali- 
corne of  Mme.  de  St.  Remy.  "While  I  am  about  it,  I 
might  as  well  get  everybody  appointed." 

And  upon  that  he  went  away,  leaving  the  poor  lady  quite 
disconcerted,  as  Tallemont  des  Eeaux  would  say. 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  21 

"Humph!"  murmured  Malicorue,  as  he  descended  the 
stairs.  "Humph!  there  is  another  note  of  a  thousand  li- 
vres  that  will  cost  me;  but  I  must  get  through  as  well  as  I 
can;  my  friend  Manicamp  does  nothing  for  nothing." 



The  introduction  of  these  two  new  personages  into  this 
history^  and  that  mysterious  affinity  of  names  and  senti- 
ments, merit  some  attention  on  the  part  of  the  historian 
and  the  reader.  We  will  then  enter  into  some  details  con- 
cerning M.  Malicorne  and  M.  Manicamp.  Malicorne,  we 
know,  had  made  the  journey  to  Orleans  in  search  of  the 
brevet  destined  for  Mile,  de  Montalais,  the  arrival  of  which 
had  produced  such  a  strong  feeling  at  the  castle  of  Blois. 
At  that  moment  M.  de  Manicamp  was  at  Orleans.  A  sin- 
gular personage  was  this  M.  de  Manicamp;  a  very  intelli- 
gent young  fellow,  always  jjoor,  always  needy,  although  he 
dipped  his  hand  freely  into  the  purse  of  M.  le  Comte  de 
Guiche,  one  of  the  best-furnished  purses  of  the  period.  M. 
le  Comte  de  Guiche  had  had,  as  the  companion  of  his  boy- 
hood, this  De  Manicamp,  a  poor  gentleman,  vassal-born,  of 
the  house  of  Grammont.  M.  de  Manicamp,  with  his  acute- 
ness,  had  created  himself  a  revenue  in  the  opulent  family 
of  the  celebrated  marechal.  From  his  infancy  he  had,  by  a 
calculation  much  above  his  age,  lent  his  name  and  his  com- 
plaisance to  the  follies  of  tlie  Comte  de  Guiche.  If  his 
noble  companion  had  stolen  some  fruit  destined  for  Mme. 
la  Marechale,  if  he  had  broken  a  mirror,  or  put  out  a  dog's 
eye,  Manicamp  declared  himself  guilty  of  the  crime  com- 
mitted, and  received  the  punishment,  which  was  not  made 
the  more  mild  for  falling  upon  the  innocent.  But  this  was 
the  way  in  which  this  system  of  abnegation  was  paid  for; 
instead  of  wearing  such  mean  habiliments  as  his  paternal 
fortunes  entitled  him  to,  he  was  able  to  appear  brilliant, 
superb,  like  a  young  noble  of  fifty  thousand  livres  a  year. 
It  was  not  that  he  was  mean  in  character  or  humble  in  spirit; 
no,  he  was  a  philosopher,  or  rather,  he  had  the  indiffer- 
ence, the  apathy,  the  extravagance  which  banish  from  man 
every  feeling  of  the  hierarchical  world.  His  sole  ambition 
was  to  spend  money.  But  in  this  respect  the  worthy  M.  de 
Manicamp  was  a  gulf.     Three  or  four  times  every  'year  he 

22  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

drained  the  Comte  de  Guiche,  and  when  the  Comte  de 
Guiche  was  thoroughly  drained,  when  he  had  turned  out  his 
pockets  and  his  purse  before  him,  when  he  declared  that  it 
would  be  at  least  a  fortnight  before  paternal  munificence 
would  refill  those  pockets  and  that  purse,  De  Manicamp  lost 
all  his  energy;  he  went  to  bed,  remained  there,  ate  nothing, 
and  sold  his  handsome  clothes,  under  the  pretense  that,  r& 
maining  in  bed,  he  did  not  want  them.  During  this  pros- 
tration of  mind  and  strength,  the  purse  of  the  Comte  de 
Guiche  was  getting  full  again,  and  when  once  filled,  over- 
flov/ed  into  that  of  De  Manicamp,  who  bought  new  clothes, 
dressed  himself  again,  and  recommenced  the  same  life  he 
had  followed  before.  This  mania  of  selling  his  new  clothes 
for  a  quarter  of  what  they  were  worth  had  rendered  our 
hero  sufficiently  celebrated  in  Orleans,  a  city  where,  in  gen- 
eral, we  should  be  puzzled  to  say  why  he  came  to  pass  his 
days  of  penitence.  Provincial  clehavches,  2ietUs  maitres  of 
six  hundred  livres  a  year,  shared  the  fragments  of  his 

Among  the  admirers  of  these  splendid  toilets,  our  friend 
Malicorne  was  conspicuous;  he  was  the  son  of  a  syndic  of  the 
city,  of  whom  M.  de  Conde,  always  needy  as  a  De  Conde, 
often  borrowed  money  at  enormous  interest.  M.  Malicorne 
kept  the  paternal  money-chest;  that  is  to  say,  that  in  those 
times  of  easy  morals,  he  had  made  for  himself,  by  following 
the  example  of  his  father,  and  lending  at  high  interest  for 
short  terms,  a  revenue  of  eighteen  hundred  livres,  without 
reckoning  six  hundred  other  livres  furnished  by  the  generos- 
ity of  the  syndic,  so  that  Malicorne  was  the  king  of  the  gay 
youth  of  Orleans,  having  two  thousand  four  hundred  livres 
to  scatter,  squander,  and  waste  on  follies  of  every  kind. 
But,  quite  contrary  to  Manicamp,  Malicorne  was  terribly 
ambitious.  He  loved  from  ambition;  he  spent  money  from 
ambition;  and  he  would  have  ruined  himself  from  ambition. 
Malicorne  had  determined  to  rise,  at  whatever  price  it 
might  cost,  and  for  this,  at  whatever  price  it  did  cost,  he 
had  given  himself  a  mistress  and  a  friend.  The  mistress. 
Mile,  de  Montalais,  was  cruel,  as  regarded  the  last  favors  of 
love;  but  she  was  of  a  noble  family,  and  that  was  sufficient 
for  Malicorne.  The  friend  had  no  friendship,  but  he  was 
the  favorite  of  the  Comte  de  Guiche,  himself  the  friend  of 
Monsieur,  the  king's  brother,  and  that  was  sufficient  for 
Malicorne.  Only,  in  the  chapter  of  charges,  Mile,  de  Mon- 
talais co?,i  per  an.:  Ribbons,  gloves,  and  sweets,  a  thousand 
livres.     De  Manicamp  cost — money  lent,  never  returned — 

TEN    YEARS   LATER.  23 

from  twelve  to  fifteen  hundred  livres  i^er  an.  So  that  there 
was  nothing  left  for  Malicorne.  Ah!  yes,  we  are  mistaken; 
there  was  left  the  paternal  strong-box.  He  employed  a 
mode  of  proceeding  upon  which  he  preserved  the  most  pro- 
found secrecy,  and  which  consisted  in  advancing  to  himself, 
from  the  coffers  of  the  syndic,  half  a  dozen  years,  that  is  to 
say,  fifteen  thousand  livres,  swearing  to  himself — observe, 
quite  to  himself — to  repay  this  deficiency  as  soon  as  an 
opportunity  should  present  itself.  The  opportunity  was 
expected  to  be  the  concession  of  a  good  post  in  the  house- 
hold of  Monsieur,  when  that  household  would  be  established 
at  the  period  of  his  marriage.  This  period  was  arrived,  and 
the  household  was  about  to  be  established.  A  good  post  in 
the  family  of  a  prince  of  the  blood,  when  it  is  given  by  the 
credit  and  on  the  recommendation  of  a  friend  like  the 
Comte  de  Guiche,  is  worth  at  least  twelve  thousand  livres 
per  an. ;  and  by  the  means  which  M.  Malicorne  had  taken 
to  make  his  revenues  fructify,  twelve  thousand  livres  might 
rise  to  twenty  thousand.  Then,  when  once  an  incumbent 
of  this  post,  he  would  marry  Mile,  de  Montalais.  Mile,  de 
Montalais,  of  a  family  which  the  woman's  side  ennobles, 
not  only  would  be  dowered,  but  would  ennoble  Malicorne. 
But,  in  order  that  Mile,  de  Montalais,  who  had  not  a  large 
patrimonial  fortune,  although  an  only  daughter,  should  be 
suitably  dowered,  it  was  necessary  that  she  should  belong  to 
some  great  princess  as  prodigal  as  the  dowager  madame  was 
covetous.  And  in  order  that  the  wife  should  not  be  on  one 
side  while  the  husband  was  on  the  other,  a  situation  which 
presents  serious  inconveniences,  particularly  with  characters 
like  those  of  the  future  consorts — Malicorne  had  imagined 
the  idea  of  making  the  central  point  of  union  the  household 
of  Monsieur,  the  king's  brother.  Mile,  de  Montalais  would 
be  maid  of  honor  to  madame;  M.  Malicorne  would  be  officer 
to  Monsieur. 

It  is  plain  the  plan  was  formed  by  a  clear  head;  it  is  plain 
also  that  it  had  been  bravely  executed.  Malicorne  had 
asked  Manicamp  to  ask  a  brevet  of  maid  of  honor  of  the 
Comte  de  Guiche;  and  the  Comte  de  Guiche  had  asked  this 
brevet  of  Monsieur,  who  had  signed  it  without  hesitation. 
The  moral  plan  of  Malicorne — for  we  may  well  suppose 
that  the  combinations  of  a  mind  as  active  as  his  were  not 
confined  to  the  present,  but  extended  to  the  future — the 
moral  plan  of  Malicorne,  we  say,  was  this:  To  obtain  en- 
trance into  the  household  of  Mme.  Henrietta  for  a  woman 
devoted  to  himself,  who  was  intelligent,  young,  handsome. 


and  intriguing;  to  learn,  by  means  of  this  woman,  all  the 
feminine  secrets  of  the  young  household;  while  he,  Mali- 
corne,  and  his  friend,  Manicamp,  should,  between  them, 
know  all  the  male  secrets  of  the  young  community.  It  was 
by  these  means  that  a  rapid  and  splendid  fortune  might  be 
acquired  at  one  and  the  same  time.  Malicorne  was  a  vile 
name;  he  who  bore  it  had  too  much  wit  to  conceal  this 
truth  from  himself;  but  an  estate  might  be  purchased;  and 
Malicorne  of  some  place,  or  even  De  Malicorne  itself,  quite 
short,  would  sound  nobly  in  the  ear. 

It  was  not  improbable  that  a  most  aristocratic  origin  might 
be  found  for  this  name  of  Malicorne.  Might  it  not  come 
from  some  estate  where  a  bull  with  mortal  horns  had  caused 
some  great  misfortune  and  baptized  the  soil  with  the  blood 
it  had  spilled?  Certes,  this  plan  presented  itself  bristling 
with  difficulties;  but  the  greatest  of  all  was  Mile,  de  Mon- 
talais  herself.  Capricious,  variable,  close,  giddy,  free, 
prudish,  a  virgin  armed  with  claws,  Erigone  stained  with 
grapes,  she  sometimes  overturned,  with  a  single  dash  of  her 
white  fingers,  or  with  a  single  puff  from  her  laughing  lips, 
the  edifice  which  had  employed  the  patience  of  Malicorne  a 
month  to  establish. 

Love  apart,  Malicorne  was  happy;  but  this  love,  which 
he  could  not  help  feeling,  he  had  the  strength  to  conceal 
with  care;  persuaded  that  at  the  least  relaxing  of  the  ties 
by  which  he  had  bound  his  Protean  female,  the  demon 
would  overthrow  him  and  laugh  at  him.  He  humbled  his 
mistress  by  disdaining  her.  Burning  with  desire,  when  she 
advanced  to  tempt  him,  he  had  the  art  to  appear  ice,  per- 
suaded that  if  he  opened  his  arms  she  would  run  away 
laughing  at  him.  On  her  side,  Montalais  believed  she  did 
not  love  Malicorne;  while,  on  the  contrary,  she  did  love 
him.  Malicorne  repeated  to  her  so  often  his  protestation  of 
indifference  that  she  finished  sometimes  by  believing  him; 
and  then  she  believed  she  detested  Malicorne.  If  she  tried 
to  bring  him  back  by  coquetry,  Malicorne  played  the 
coquette  better  than  she  could.  But  Avhat  made  Montalais 
hold  to  Malicorne  in  an  indissoluble  fashion  v/as,  that  Mali- 
corne was  always  come  cram  full  of  fresh  news  from  the 
court  and  the  city;  it  was  that  Malicorne  always  brought  to 
Blois  a  fashion,  a  secret,  or  a  perfume;  it  was  that  Malicorne 
never  asked  for  a  meeting,  but,  on  the  contrary,  required 
to  be  supplicated  to  receive  the  favors  he  burned  to  obtain. 
On  her  side,  Montalais  was  no  miser  with  stories.  By  her 
means   Malicorne  learned  all  that  passed  at  Blois  in  the 

TEN    YEAES    LATER.  ,  25 

family  of  the  dowager  madame;  and  he  related  to  Manicamp 
tales  that  made  him  ready  to  die  with  laughing,  which  the 
latter,  out  of  idleness,  took  ready-made  to  M.  de  Guiche, 
who  carried  them  to  Monsieur. 

Such,  in  two  words,  was  the  woof  of  petty  interests  and 
petty  conspiracies  which  united  Blois  with  Orleans,  and 
Orleans  with  Paris;  and  which  was  about  to  bring  into 
the  last-named  city,  where  she  was  to  produce  so  great  a 
revolution,  the  poor  little  La  Valliere,  who  was  far  from 
suspecting,  as  she  returned  joyfully,  leaning  on  the  arm 
of  her  mother,  for  what  a  strange  future  she  was  re- 
served. As  to  the  good  man,  Malicorne — we  speak  of  the 
syndic  of  Orleans — he  did  not  see  more  clearly  into  the 
present  than  others  did  into  the  future;  and  had  no  sus- 
picion as  he  walked,  every  day,  between  three  and  five 
o'clock,  after  his  dinner,  upon  the  Place  St.  Catherine,  in 
his  gray  coat,  cut  after  the  fashion  of  Louis  XIII.,  and  his 
cloth  shoes  with  great  knots  of  ribbon,  that  it  was  he  who 
paid  for  all  those  bursts  of  laughter,  all  those  stolen  kisses, 
all  those  whisperings,  all  that  ribbonry,  and  all  those  bub- 
ble projects  which  formed  a  chain  of  forty-five  leagues  in 
length,  from  the  Palais  of  Blois  to  the  Palais  Eoyal. 



Malicorne,  then,  left  Blois,  as  we  have  said,  and  went 
to  find  his  friend  Manicamp,  then  in  temporary  retreat  in 
the  city  of  Orleans.  It  was  just  at  the  moment  when  that 
young  nobleman  was  employed  in  selling  the  last  piece  of 
decent  clothing  he  had  left.  He  had,  a  fortnight  before, 
extorted  from  the  Comte  de  Guiche  a  hundred  pistoles,  all 
he  had,  to  assist  in  equipping  him  properly  to  go  and  meet 
madame  on  her  arrival  at  Havre.  He  had  drawn  from 
Malicorne,  three  days  before,  fifty  pistoles,  the  price  of  the 
brevet  obtained  for  Montalais.  He  had  then  no  expecta- 
tion from  anything  else,  having  exhausted  all  his  resources, 
with  the  exception  of  selling  a  handsome  suit  of  cloth  and 
satin,  all  embroidered  and  laced  with  gold,  which  had  been 
the  admiration  of  the  court.  But  to  be  able  to  sell  this 
suit,  the  last  he  had  left — as  we  have  been  forced  to  confess 
to  the  reader — Manicamp  had  been  obliged  to  take  to  his 
bed.  No  more  fixe,  no  more  pocket-money,  no  more  walk- 
DuMAS — YOL.  XY.  2 

26  ,  TEN"   TEARS   LATER. 

iiig-money,  nothing  but  sleep  to  take  the  place  of  repasts, 
companies,  and  balls.  It  has  been  said,  "He  who  sleeps, 
dines;"  but  it  has  not  been  said,  "He  who  sleeps,  plays," 
or,  "He  who  sleeps,  dances."  Manicamp,  reduced  to  this 
extremity  of  neither  playing  nor  dancing,  for  a  week  at 
least,  was,  consequently,  very  sad;  he  was  expecting  a 
usurer,  and  saw  Malicorne  enter.  A  cry  of  distress  escaped 

"Eh!  what!"  said  he,  in  a  tone  which  nothing  can  de- 
scribe, "is  that  you  again,  dear  friend?" 

"Humph!  you  are  very  polite!"  said  Malicorne. 

"Ay,  but  look  you,  I  was  expecting  money,  aud,  instead 
of  the  money,  I  see  you  come." 

"And  supi^ose  I  brought  you  some  money?" 

"Oh!  then  it  is  quite  another  thing.  You  are  very  wel- 
come, my  dear  friend." 

And  he  held  out  his  hand,  not  for  the  hand  of  Malicorne, 
but  for  the  purse.  Malicorne  pretended  to  be  mistaken, 
and  gave  him  his  hand. 

"And  the  money?"  said  Manicamp. 

"My  dear  friend,  if  you  wish  to  have  it,  earn  it." 

"What  must  be  done  for  it?" 

"Earn  it,  parhleiiF^ 

"And  after  what  fashion?" 

"Oh!  that  is  rather  trying,  I  warn  you." 

"The  devil!" 

"You  must  get  out  of  bed,  and  go  immediately  to  Mon- 
sieur le  Oomte  de  Guiche." 

"I  get  up!"  said  Manicamp,  stretching  himself  in  his 
bed  voluptuously,  "oh,  no,  thank  you!" 

"You  have  then  sold  all  your  clothes?" 

"No;  I  have  one  suit  left,  the  handsomest  even;  but  I 
expect  a  purchaser." 

"And  the  chmissesV 

"Well,  if  you  look,  you  can  see  them  on  that  chair." 

"Very  well;  since  you  have  some  ch misses  and  a  pourpoi7it 
left,  put  your  legs  into  the  first  and  your  back  into  the 
other,  have  a  horse  saddled,  and  set  oflf." 

"Not  I." 

"And  why  not?" 

"Morbleti!  don't  you  know,  then,  that  Monsieur  de  Guiche 
is  at  Etampes?" 

"No;  I  thought  he  was  at  Paris;  you  will  then  only  have 
fifteen  leagues  to  go,  instead  of  thirty." 

"You  are  a  wonderfully  clever  fellow.     If  I  were  to  ride 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  27 

fifteen  leagues  in  these  clothes  they  would  never  be  fit  to 
put  on  again;  and,  instead  of  selling  them  for  thirty  pis- 
toles, 1  should  be  obliged  to  take  fifteen." 

'•Sell  them  for  what  you  like,  but  I  must  have  a  second 
commission  of  maid  of  honor." 

"Good!     For  whom?     Is  IVtontalais  doubled,  then?" 

"Vile  fellow  I  It  is  you  who  are  doubled.  You  swallow 
up  two  fortunes — mine  and  that  of  Monsieur  le  Comte  de 

"You  should  say  that  of  Monsieur  le  Comte  de  Guiche 
and  yours." 

"That  is  true;  honor  where  it  is  due;  but  I  return  to  my 

"And  you  are  wrong." 

"Prove  me  that." 

"My  friend,  there  will  only  be  twelve  maids  of  honor  for 
madame;  I  have  already  obtained  for  you  what  twelve  hun- 
dred women  are  trying  for,  and  for  that  I  was  forced  to  em- 
ploy my  diplomacy." 

"Oh!  yes,  I  know  you  have  been  quite  heroic,  my  dear 

"We  know  what  we  are  about,"  said  Manicamp. 

"To  whom  do  you  tell  that?  When  I  am  king,  I  promise 
you  one  thing." 

"What?     To  call  you  Malicorne  I.  ?" 

"No;  to  make  you  surintendant  of  my  finances;  but  that 
-is  not  the  question  now." 


"The  present  affair  is  to  procure  for  me  a  second  place  of 
maid  of  honor." 

"My  friend,  if  you  were  to  promise  me  heaven,  I  would 
not  disturb  myself  at  this  moment." 

Malicorne  chinked  the  money  in  his  pocket. 

"There  are  twenty  pistoles  here,"  said  Malicorne. 

"And  what  would  you  do  with  twenty  pistoles,  mon 

"Well,"  said  Malicorne  a  little  angrily,  "suppose  I  were 
only  to  add  them  to  the  five  hundred  you  already  owe  me?" 

"You  are  right,"  replied  Manicamp,  stretching  out  his 
hand  again,  "and  in  that  point  of  view  I  can  accept  them. 
Give  them  to  me." 

"An  instant.  What  the  devil!  it  is  not  only  holding  out 
your  hand  that  will  do;  if  I  give  you  the  twenty  pistoles 
shall  I  have  my  brevet?" 

"To  be  sure  you  shall." 

28  TEN   "ZEAES   LATEK. 



"Oh!  take  care.  Monsieur  de  Manicamp;  you  undertake 
much,  and  I  do  not  ask  that.  Thirty  leagues  in  a  day  is 
too  much,  you  would  kill  yourself." 

"I  think  nothing  impossible  when  obliging  a  friend." 

"You  are  quite  heroic." 

"Where  are  the  twenty  pistoles?" 

"Here  they  are,"  said  Malicorne,  showing  them. 

"That's  well." 

"Yes,  but  my  dear  Monsieur  Manicamp,  you  would  con- 
sume them  in  nothing  but  post-horses." 

"No,  no;  make  yourself  easy  on  that  head." 

''Pardon  me.  Why,  it  is  fifteen  leagues  from  this  place 
to  Etampes." 


"Well,  fourteen  be  it;  fourteen  leagues  make  seven  posts; 
at  twenty  sous  the  post,  seven  livres;  seven  livres  the 
courier,  fourteen;  as  many  for  coming  back,  twenty-eight; 
as  much  for  bed  and  supper,  that  makes  sixty  of  the  livres 
which  this  complaisance  would  cost  you." 

Manicamp  stretched  himself  like  a  serpent  in  his  bed, 
and  fixing  his  two  great  eyes  upon  Malicorne,  "You  are 
right,"  said  he;  "I  could  not  return  before  to-morrow;" 
and  he  took  the  twenty  pistoles. 

"Now,  then,  be  off!" 

"Well,  as  I  cannot  be  back  before  to-morrow,  we  have 

"Time  for  what?" 

"Time  for  play." 

"What  do  you  wish  to  play  with?" 

"Your  twenty  pistoles,  pardieu!" 

"No;  you  always  win." 

"I  will  wager  them,  then." 

"Against  what?" 

"Against  twenty  others." 

"And  what  will  be  the  object  of  the  wager?" 

"This:  We  have  said  it  was  fourteen  leagues  to  go  to 


"And  fourteen  leagues  back?" 


"Well,  for  these  twenty-eight  leagues  you  cannot  allow 
less  than  fourteen  hours?" 

"That  is  agreed." 

TEN    TEARS    LATER.  29 

*'One  hour  to  find  the  Comte  de  Guiche." 

"Go  ou." 

"And  an  hour  to  persuade  him  to  write  a  letter  to  Mon- 

"Just  so." 

"Sixteen  hours  in  all?" 

"You  reckon  as  well  as  Monsieur  Colbert." 

"It  is  now  twelve  o'clock." 


^'Hein!  you  have  a  handsome  watch." 

"What  were  you  saying?"  said  Malicorne,  putting  his 
watch  quickly  back  into  his  fob. 

"Ah!  true;  I  was  offering  to  lay  you  twenty  pistoles 
against  these  you  have  lent  me  that  you  will  have  the  Comte 
de  Guiche's  letter  in " 

"How  soon?" 

"In  eight  hours." 

"Have  you  a  winged  horse,  then?" 

"That  is  no  matter.     Will  you  lay?" 

"I  shall  have  the  comte's  letter  in  eight  hours?" 

"Yes."     ■ 

"In  hand?" 

"In  hand." 

"Well,  be  it  so;  I  lay,"  said  Malicorne,  curious  to  know 
how  this  seller  of  clothes  would  get  through. 

"Is  it  agreed?" 

"It  is." 

"Pass  me  the  pen,  ink,  and  paper." 

"Here  they  are." 

"Thank  you." 

Manicamp  raised  himself  up  with  a  sigh,  and  leaning  on 
his  left  elbow,  he,  in  his  best  hand,  traced  the  following 

"An  order  for  a  place  of  maid  of  honor  to  madame,  which 
Monsieur  le  Comte  de  Guiche  will  take  upon  him  to  obtain 
at  sight.  De  Manicamp." 

This  painful  task  accomplished,  he  laid  himself  down  in 
bed  again. 

"Well?"  asked  Malicorne,  "what  does  this  mean?" 

"That  means  that  if  you  are  in  a  hurry  to  have  the  letter 
from  the  Comte  de  Guiche  for  Monsieur,  I  have  won  my 

"How  the  devil  is  that?" 

30  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

"That  is  transparent  enough,  I  think;  you  take  that 


"And  you  set  out  instead  of  me." 


"You  put  your  horses  to  their  best  speed." 


"In  six  hours  you  will  be  at  Etampes;  in  seven  hours  you 
have  the  letter  from  the  comte,  and  I  shall  have  won  my 
wager  without  stirring  from  my  bed,  which  suits  me,  and 
you,  too,  at  the  same  time,  I  am  very  sure." 

"Decidedly,  Manicamp,  you  are  a  great  man." 

''Hein!  I  know  that." 

"I  am  to  start,  then,  for  Etampes?" 


"I  am  to  go  to  the  Comte  de  Guiche  with  this  order?" 

"He  will  give  you  a  similar  one  for  Monsieur." 

"Monsieur  will  ajjprove?" 


"And  I  shall  have  my  brevet?" 

"You  will." 


"Well,  I  hope  I  behave  genteelly." 


"Thank  you." 

"You  do  as  you  please,  then,  with  the  Comte  de  Guiche, 

"Except  making  money  of  him — everything." 

^^Diahle!  the  exception  is  annoying;  but  then,  instead  of 
asking  him  for  money,  you  were  to  ask " 


"Something  important." 

"What  do  you  call  important?" 

"Well,  suppose  one  of  your  friends  asked  you  to  render 
him  a  service?" 

"I  would  not  render  it  to  him." 

"Selfish  fellow!" 

"Or,  at  least,  I  would  ask  him  what  service  he  would 
render  me  in  exchange." 

"Ah!  that,  perhaps,  is  fair.  Well,  that  friend  speaks  to 

"What,  you,  Malicorne?" 

"Yes;  it  is  I." 

"Ah!  ah!  you  are  rich,  then?" 

"I  have  still  fifty  pistoles  left." 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  31 

"Exactly  the  sum  I  want.  Where  are  those  fifty  pis- 

"Here,"  said  Malicorne,  slapping  his  pocket. 

"Then  speak,  my  friend;  what  do  you  want?" 

Malicorne  took  uj)  the  pen,  ink,  and  paper  again,  and 
presented  them  all  to  Manicamp. 

"Write,"  said  he. 


"An  order  for  a  place  in  the  household  of  Monsieur." 

"Oh!"  said  Manicamp,  laying  down  the  pen,  "a  place  in 
the  household  of  Monsieur  for  fifty  pistoles?" 

"You  mistook  me,  my  friend;  you  did  not  hear  plainly." 

"What  did  you  say,  then?" 

"I  said  five  hundred." 

"And  the  five  hundred?" 

"Here  they  are." 

Manicamp  devoured  the  roiileau  with  his  eyes;  but  this 
time  Malicorne  held  it  at  a  distance. 

"Eh!  what  do  you  say  to  that?     Five  hundred  pistoles." 

"I  say  it  is  for  nothing,  my  friend,"  said  Manicamp,  tak- 
ing up  the  pen  again,  "and  you  will  wear  out  my  credit. 

Malicorne  continued: 

"Which  my  friend  the  Comte  de  Guiche  will  obtain  for 
my  friend  Malicorne." 

"That's  it,"  said  Manicamp. 

"Pardon  me,  you  have  forgotten  to  sign." 

"Ah!  that  is  true." 

"The  five  hundred  pistoles?" 

"Here  are  two  hundred  and  fifty  of  them." 

"And  the  other  two  hundred  and  fifty?" 

"When  I  shall  be  in  possession  of  my  place." 

Manicamp  made  a  face. 

"In  that  case,  give  me  the  recommendation  back  again." 

"What  to  do?" 

"To  add  two  words  to  it." 

"Two  words?" 

"Yes,  two  words  only." 

"What  are  they?" 

"In  haste." 

Malicorne  returned  the  recommendation;  Manicamp 
added  the  words. 

"Good!"  said  Malicorne,  taking  back  the  paper. 

Manicamp  began  to  count  the  pistoles. 

"They  want  twenty,"  said  he. 

32  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

''How  SO?" 

"The  twenty  I  have  won." 

"In  what  way?" 

"By  laying  that  you  would  have  the  letter  from  the  Comte 
de  Guiche  in  eight  hours." 

"Ah!  that's  iair;"  and  he  gave  him  the  twenty  pistoles. 

Manicamp  began  to  take  up  his  gold  by  handfuls,  and 
pour  it  down  in  cascades  upon  his  bed. 

"This  second  place,"  murmured  Malicorne,  while  drying 
his  paper,  "which,  at  the  first  glance,  appears  to  cost  me 
more  than  the  first,  but " 

He  stopped,  took  up  the  pen  in  his  turn,  and  wrote  to 

"Mademoiselle:  Announce  to  your  friend  that  her 
commission  will  not  be  long  before  it  arrives;  I  am  setting 
out  to  get  it  signed;  that  will  be  twenty-eight  leagues  I 
shall  have  gone  for  the  love  of  you." 

Then,  with  his  demon's  smile,  taking  up  the  interrupted 

"This  place,"  said  he,  "at  the  first  glance,  appears  to 
cost  more  than  the  first;  but  the  benefit  will  be,  I  hope,  in 
proportion  with  the  expense,  and  Mademoiselle  de  la  Val- 
liere  will  bring  me  back  more  than  Mademoiselle  de  Mon- 
talais, or  else — or  else  my  name  is  not  Malicorne.  Fare- 
well, Manicamp,"  and  he  left  the  room. 



On  Malicorne's  arrival  at  Orleans  he  was  informed  that 
the  Comte  de  Guiche  had  just  set  out  for  Paris.  Malicorne 
rested  himself  for  a  couple  of  hours,  and  then  prepared  to 
continue  his  journey.  He  reached  Paris  during  the  night, 
and  alighted  at  a  small  hotel,  where,  in  his  previous  journeys 
to  the  capital,  he  had  been  accustomed  to  put  up,  and  at 
eight  o'clock  the  next  morning  he  presented  himself  at  the 
Hotel  Grammont.  Malicorne  arrived  just  in  time,  for  the 
Count  de  Guiche  was  on  the  point  of  taking  leave  of  Mon- 
sieur before  setting  out  for  Havre,  where  the  principal 
members  of  the  French  nobility  had  gone  to  await  madame's 
arrival  from  England.     Malicorne  pronounced  the  name  of 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  33 

Manicamp,  and  was  immediately  admitted.  He  found  the 
Comte  de  Guiche  in  the  courtyard  of  the  Hotel  Grammont, 
inspecting  his  horses,  which  his  trainers  and  equerries  were 
passing  in  review  before  him.  The  count,  in  the  presence 
of  his  tradespeople  and  of  his  servants,  Avas  engaged  in 
praising  or  blaming,  as  the  case  seemed  to  deserve,  the  ap- 
pointments, horses,  and  harness  which  were  being  submitted 
to  him,  when,  in  the  midst  of  this  important  occupation, 
the  name  of  Manicamp  was  announced. 

"Manicamp!"  he  exclaimed;  "let  him  enter,  by  all 

And  he  advanced  a  few  steps  toward  the  door. 

Malicorne  slipped  through  the  half-open  door,  and  look- 
ing at  the  Comte  de  Guiche,  who  was  surprised  to  see  a  face 
which  he  did  not  recognize,  instead  of  the  one  he  expected, 

"Forgive  me,  Monsieur  le  Comte,  but  I  believe  a  mistake 
has  been  made.  Monsieur  Manicamp  himself  was  announced 
to  you,  instead  of  which  it  is  only  an  envoy  from  him." 

"Ah!"  exclaimed  De  Guiche  coldly;  "and  what  do  you 
bring  me?" 

"A  letter,  Monsieur  le  Comte." 

Malicorne  handed  him  the  first  document,  and  narrowly 
watched  the  comte's  face,  who,  as  he  read  it,  began  to 

"What!"  he  exclaimed,  "another  maid  of  honor?  Are 
all  the  maids  of  honor  in  France,  then,  under  his  protec- 

Malicorne  bowed. 

"Why  does  he  not  come  himself?"  he  inquired. 

"He  is  confined  to  his  bed." 

"The  deuce!  he  has  no  money,  then,  I  suppose?"  said 
De  Guiche,  shrugging  his  shoulders.  "What  does  he  do 
with  his  money?" 

Malicorne  made  a  movement  to  indicate  that  upon  this 
subject  he  was  as  ignorant  as  the  comte  himself. 

"Why  does  he  not  make  use  of  his  credit,  then?"  con- 
tinued De  Guiche. 

"With  regard  to  that,  I  think " 


"That  Manicamp  has  credit  with  no  one  but  yourself, 
Monsieur  le  Comte." 

"He  will  not  be  at  Havre,  then?" 

Whereupon  Malicorne  made  another  movement. 

"But  every  one  will  be  there." 

34  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

"I  trust,  Monsieur  le  Comte,  that  he  will  not  neglect  so 
excellent  an  opportunity." 

"He  should  be  at  Paris  by  this  time." 

"He  will  take  the  direct  road,  then,  to  make  up  for  lost 

"Where  is  he  now?" 

"At  Orleans." 

"Monsieur,"  said  De  Guiche,  ''you  seem  to  me  a  man  of 
very  good  taste." 

Malicorne  wore  Manicamp's  clothes.     He  bowed  in  re- 
turn, saying: 
'     "You  do  me  a  very  great  honor.  Monsieur  le  Comte." 

"Whom  have  I  the  pleasure  of  addressing?" 

"My  name  is  Malicorne,  monsieur." 

"Monsieur  de  Malicorne,  what  do  you  think  of  these 

Malicorne  was  a  man  of  great  readiness,  and  immediately 
understood  the  position  of  affairs.  Besides,  the  "de" 
which  had  been  prefixed  to  his  name  raised  him  to  the 
rank  of  the  person  with  whom  he  was  conversing.  He 
looked  at  the  holsters  with  the  air  of  a  connoisseur,  and 
said,  without  hesitation: 

"Somewhat  heavy,  monsieur." 

"You  see,"  said  De  Guiche  to  the  saddler,  "this  gentle- 
man, who  understands  these  matters  well,  thinks  the  holsters 
heavy,  a  complaint  I  had  already  made." 

The  saddler  was  full  of  excuses. 

"What  do  you  think,"  asked  De  Guiche,  "of  this  horse 
v.'hich  I  have  Just  purchased?" 

"To  look  at  it,  it  seems  perfect.  Monsieur  le  Comte;  but 
I  must  mount  it  before  I  give  you  my  opinion." 

"Do  so.  Monsieur  de  Malicorne,  and  ride  him  round  the 
court  two  or  three  times." 

The  courtyard  of  the  hotel  was  so  arranged  that  when- 
ever there  was  any  occasion  for  it,  it  could  be  used  as  a 
riding-school.  Malicorne,  with  perfect  ease,  arranged  the 
bridle  and  snaffle-reins,  placed  his  left  hand  on  the  horse's 
mane,  and,  with  his  foot  in  the  stirrup,  raised  himself  and 
seated  himself  in  the  saddle.  At  first  he  made  the  horse 
walk  the  whole  circuit  of  the  courtyard  at  a  foot-pace;  next 
at  a  trot;  lastly  at  a  gallop.  He  then  drew  up  close  to  the 
count,  dismounted,  and  threw  the  bridle  to  a  groom  stand- 
ing by. 

"Well,"  said  the  comte,  "what  do  you  think  of  it.  Mon- 
sieur de  Malicorne?" 

TEN    TEARS    L.^TER.  60 

"This  horse,  Monsieur  le  Comte,  is  of  the  Mecklenburg 
breed.  In  looking  whether  the  bit  suited  his  mouth,  I  saw 
that  he  was  rising  seven,  the  very  age  when  the  training  of 
a  horse  intended  for  a  charger  should  commence.  The 
forehand  is  light.  A  horse  that  holds  its  head  high,  it  is 
said,  never  tires  his  rider's  hand.  The  withers  are  rather 
low.  The  drooping  of  the  hind-quarters  would  almost 
make  me  doubt  the  purity  of  its  German  breed,  and  I  think 
there  is  English  blood  in  him.  lie  stands  well  on  his  legs, 
but  he  trots  high,  and  may  cut  himself,  which  requires  at- 
tention to  be  paid  to  his  shoeing.  He  is  tractable;  and  as  I 
made  him  turn  round  and  change  his  feet,  I  found  him 
quick  and  ready  in  doing  so." 

"Well  said.  Monsieur  de  Malicornel"  exclaimed  the 
comte.  "You  are  a  judge  of  horses,  I  perceive;"  then,  turn- 
ing toward  him  again,  he  continued:  "You  are  most  becom- 
ingly dressed.  Monsieur  de  Malicorne.  That  is  not  a 
provincial  cut,  I  presume.  Such  a  style  of  dress  is  not  to 
be  met  with  at  Tours  or  Orleans." 

"No,  Monsieur  le  Comte;  my  clothes  were  made  at 

"There  is  no  doubt  of  that.  But  let  us  resume  our  own 
affair.  Manicamp  wishes  for  the  appointment  of  a  second 
maid  of  honor." 

"You  perceive  what  he  has  written,  Monsieur  le  Comte." 

"For  whom  was  the  first  appointment?" 
.  Malicorne  felt  the  color  rise  in  his  face  as  he  answered 

"A  charming  maid  of  honor.  Mademoiselle  de  Montalais." 

"Ah,  ah!  you  are  acquainted  with  her?" 

"We  are  affianced,  or  nearly  so." 

"That  is  quite  another  thing,  then — a  thousand  compli- 
ments!" exclaimed  De  Guiche,  upon  whose  lips  a  courtier's 
jest  was  already  flitting,  but  to  whom  the  word  "affianced," 
addressed  by  Malicorne  with  respect  to  Mile,  de  Montalais, 
recalled  the  respect  due  to  women. 

"And  for  whom  is  the  second  appointment  destined?" 
asked  De  Guiche;  "is  it  for  any  one  to  whom  Manicamp 
may  happen  to  be  aifianced?  In  that  case,  I  pity  her,  poor 
girl!  for  she  will  have  a  sad  fellow  for  a  husband  in  him." 

"No,  Monsieur  le  Comte;  the  second  appointment  is  for 
Mademoiselle  la  Baume  le  Blanc  de  la  Valliere." 

"Unknown,"  said  De  Guiche. 

"Unknown?  yes,  monsieur,"  said  Malicorne,  smiling  in 
his  turn. 

36  TEN    YEAKS    LATER. 

"Very  good.  I  will  speak  to  Monsieur  about  it.  By  the 
bye,  she  is  of  gentle  birth?" 

"She  belongs  to  a  very  good  family,  and  is  maid  of  honor 
to  madame." 

"That's  well.     Will  you  accompany  me  to  Monsieur?" 

"Most  certainly,  if  I  may  be  permitted  the  honor." 

"Have  you  your  carriage?" 

"No;  I  came  here  on  horseback." 

"Dressed  as  you  are?" 

"No,  monsieur;  I  posted  from  Orleans,  and  I  changed 
my  traveling-suit  for  the  one  I  have  on,  in  order  to  present 
myself  to  you." 

"True,  you  already  told  me  you  had  come  from  Orleans;" 
saying  which  he  crumpled  Manicamp's  letter  in  his  hand, 
and  thrust  it  in  his  pocket. 

"I  beg  your  pardon,"  said  Malicorne  timidly;  "but  I  do 
not  think  you  have  read  all." 

"Not  read  all,  do  you  say?" 

"No;  there  were  two  letters  in  the  same  envelope." 

"Oh,  oh!  are  you  sure?" 

"Quite  sure." 

"Let  us  look,  then,"  said  the  comte,  as  he  opened  the 
letter  again. 

"Ah!  you  are  right,"  he  said,  opening  the  paper  which 
he  had  not  yet  read. 

"I  suspected  it,"  he  continued,  "another  application  for 
an  appointment  under  Monsieur.  This  Manicamp  is  a  com- 
plete gulf — he  is  carrying  on  a  trade  in  it." 

"No,  Monsieur  le  Comte;  he  wishes  to  make  a  present  of 

"To  whom?" 

"To  myself,  monsieur." 

"Why  did  you  not  say  so  at  once,  my  dear  Monsieur  Mau- 

"Malicorne,  Monsieur  le  Comte." 

"Forgive  me;  it  is  the  Latin  which  bothers  me — that 
terrible  habit  of  etymologies.  Why  the  deuce  are  young 
men  of  family  taught  Latin?  Mala  and  mauvaise — you  un- 
derstand it  is  the  same  thing.  You  will  forgive  me,  I  trust. 
Monsieur  de  Malicorne." 

"Your  kindness  affects  me  much,  monsieur;  but  it  is  a 
reason  why  I  should  make  you  acquainted  with  one  circum- 
stance without  any  delay." 

"What  is  it?" 

"That  I  was  not  born  a  gentleman.     I  am  not  without 

TEN    YEAES   LATER.  37 

courage,  and  not  altogether  deficient  in  ability;  but  my 
name  is  Malicorne  simply." 

"You  appear  to  me,  monsieur,"  exclaimed  the  comte, 
looking  at  the  astute  face  of  his  companion,  "to  be  a  most 
agreeable  man.  Your  face  pleases  me.  Monsieur  Malicorne; 
and  you  must  possess  some  indisputably  excellent  qualities 
to  have  pleased  that  egotistical  Manicamp.  Be  candid,  and 
tell  me  whether  you  are  not  some  saint  descended  upon  the 

"Why  so?" 

"For  the  simple  reason  that  he  makes  you  a  present  of 
anything.  Did  you  not  say  that  he  intended  to  make  you  a 
present  of  some  appointment  in  the  king's  household?" 

"I  beg  your  pardon,  comte;  but,  if  I  succeed  in  obtaining 
the  appointment,  you,  and  not  he,  will  have  bestowed  it  on 

"Besides,  he  will  hot  have  given  it  to  you  for  nothing,  I 
supijose.  Stay,  I  have  it;  there  is  a  Malicorne  at  Orleans 
who  lends  money  to  the  prince." 

"I  think  that  must  be  my  father,  monsieur." 

"All!  the  prince  has  the  father,  and  that  terrible  devourer 
of  a  Manicamp  has  the  son.  Take  care,  monsieur;  I  know 
him.     He  will  fleece  you  completely." 

"The  only  difference  is,  that  I  lend  without  interest," 
said  Malicorne,  smiling. 

"I  was  correct  in  saying  you  were  either  a  saint  or  very 
much  resembled  one.  Monsieur  Malicorne,  you  shall  have 
the  post  you  want,  or  I  will  forfeit  my  name." 

"Ah!  Monsieur  le  Comte,  what  a  debt  of  gratitude  shall 
I  not  owe  you!"  said  Malicorne,  transported. 

"Let  us  go  to  the  prince,  my  dear  Monsieur  Malicorne." 

And  De  Guiche  proceeded  toward  the  door,  desiring  Mali- 
corne to  follow  him.  At  the  very  moment  they  were  about 
to  cross  the  threshold  a  young  man  appeared  on  the  other 
side.  He  was  from  twenty-four  to  twenty-five  years  of  age, 
of  pale  complexion,  bright  eyes,  and  brown  hair  and  eye- 

"Good-day!"  he  said  suddenly,  almost  pushing  De 
Guiche  back  into  the  courtyard  again. 

"Is  that  you,  De  Wardes?  What!  and  booted,  spurred, 
and  whip  in  hand,  too?" 

"The  most  befitting  costume  for  a  man  about  to  set  off 
for  Havre.     There  will  be  no  one  left  in  Paris  to-morrow." 

And  hereupon  he  saluted  Malicorne  with  great  ceremony, 
whose  handsome  dress  gave  him  the  appearance  of  a  prince 
in  rank. 


"Monsieur  Maiicorne/'  said  De  Guiohe  to  his  friend. 

De  Wardes  bowed. 

"Monsieur  de  Wardes,"  said  De  Guiclie  to  Malicorne, 
who  bowed  in  return.  "By  the  b3'e,  De  Wardes,"  continued 
De  Guiche,  "you  who  are  so  well  acquainted  with  these  mat- 
ters, can  you  tell  us,  probably,  what  appointments  are  still 
vacant  at  the  court;  or,  rather,  in  the  prince's  household?" 

"In  the  prince's  household,"  said  De  Wardes,  looking  up 
with  an  air  of  consideration,  "let  me  see — the  appointment 
of  the  master  of  the  horse  is  vacant,  I  believe." 

"Oh,"  said  Malicorne,  "there  is  no  question  of  such  a 
post  as  that,  monsieur;  my  ambition  is  not  nearly  so  ex- 

De  Wardes  had  a  more  penetrating  observation  than  De 
Guiche,  and  understood  Malicorne  immediately. 

"The  fact  is,"  he  said,  looking  at  him  from  head  to  foot, 
"a  man  must  be  either  a  duke  or  a  peer  to  fill  that  post." 

"All  I  solicit,"  said  Malicorne,  "is  a  very  humble  ap- 
pointment; I  am  of  little  importance,  and  I  do  not  rank 
myself  above  my  position." 

"Monsieur  Malicorne,  whom  you  see  here,"  said  De 
Guiche  to  De  Wardes,  "is  a  very  excellent  fellow,  whose' 
only  misfortune  is  that  of  not  being  of  gentle  birth.  As  far 
as  I  am  concerned,  you  know,  I  attach  little  value  to  those 
who  have  gentle  birth  alone  to  boast  of." 

"Assuredly,"  said  De  Wardes;  "but  will  you  allow  me  to 
remark,  my  dear  comte,  that,  without  rank  of  some  sort, 
one  can  hardly  hope  to  belong  to  his  royal  highness'  house- 

"You  are  right,"  said  the  comte;  "the  etiquette  is  very 
strict  with  regard  to  such  matters.  The  deuce!  we  never 
thought  of  that." 

"Alas I  a  sad  misfortune  for  me.  Monsieur  le  Comte," 
said  Malicorne,  changing  color  slightly. 

"Yet  not  Avithout  remedy,  I  hope,"  returned  De  Guiche. 

"The  remedy  is  found  easily  enough,"  exclaimed  De 
Wardes;  "you  can  be  created  a  gentleman.  His  eminence 
the  Cardinal  Mazarin  did  nothing  else  from  morning  till 

"Hush,  hush,  De  Wardes!"  said  the  comte;  "no  jests  of 
that  kind;  it  ill  becomes  us  to  turn  such  matters  into  ridi- 
cule. Letters  of  nobility,  it  is  true,  are  purchasable;  but 
that  is  a  sufficient  misfortune  without  the  nobles  themselves 
laughing  at  it." 

"Upon  my  word,  De  Guiche,  you're  quite  a  Puritan,  as 
the  English  say." 


At  this  moment  the  Vicomte  de  Bragelonne  was  an- 
nounced by  one  of  the  servants  in  the  courtyard,  in  pre- 
cisely the  same  manner  as  he  would  have  done  in  a  room. 

"Come  here,  my  dear  Eaoul.  What!  you,  too,  booted 
and  spurred?     You  are  setting  off,  then?" 

Bragelonne  approached  the  group  of  young  men,  and 
saluted  them  with  that  quiet  and  serious  manner  which  was 
peculiar  to  him.  His  salutation  was  principally  addressed 
to  De  Wardes,  with  whom  he  was  unacquainted,  and  whose 
features,  on  his  perceiving  Eaoul,  had  assumed  a  strange 
sternness  of  expression. 

"1  have  come,  De  Guiche,"  he  said,  "to  ask  your  com- 
panionshij).     We  set  off  for  Havre,  I  presume." 

"This  is  admirable — this  is  delightful.  We  shall  have  a 
capital  journey.  Monsieur  Malicorne,  Monsieur  Brage- 
lonne—ah!  Monsieur  de  Wardes,  let  me  present  you." 

The  young  men  saluted  each  other  in  a  restrained  manner. 
Their  two  natures  seemed,  from  the  very  beginning,  dis- 
posed to  take  exception  to  one  another.  De  Wardes  was 
pliant,  subtle  and  full  of  dissimulation;  Eaoul  was  calm, 
grave,  and  upright. 

"Decide  between  us — between  De  Wardes  and  myself, 

"iJpon  what  subject?" 

"Upon  the  subject  of  noble  birth." 

"Who  can  be  better  informed  on  that  subject  than  a  De 

"No  compliments;  it  is  your  opinion  I  ask," 

"At  least,  inform  me  of  the  subject  under  discussion." 

"De  Wardes  asserts  that  the  distribution  of  titles  is 
abused;  I,  on  the  contrary,  maintain  that  a  title  is  useless 
as  regards  the  man  on  whom  it  is  bestowed," 

"And  you  are  correct,"  said  Bragelonne  quietly. 

"But,  Monsieur  le  Vicomte,"  interrupted  De  Wardes, 
with  a  kind  of  obstinacy,  "I  affirm  that  it  is  I  who  am 

"What  was  your  opinion,  monsieur?" 

"I  was  saying  that  everything  is  done  in  France  at  the 
present  moment  to  humiliate  men  of  family." 

"And  by  whom?" 

"By  the  king  himself.  He  surrounds  himself  with  peo- 
ple who  cannot  show  four  quarterings," 

"Nonsense,"  said  De  Guiche;  "where  could  you  possibly 
have  seen  that,  De  Wardes?" 

"One  example  will  suffice,"  he  returned,  directing  his 
look  fully  upon  Eaoul. 

40  TEN    TEARS    LATER. 

"State  it,  then." 

"Do  you  know  who  has  just  been  nominated  captain-gen- 
eral of  the  musketeers — an  ajapointment  more  valuable  than 
a  peerage;  for  it  gives  precedence  over  all  the  marechals  of 

Eaoul's  color  mounted  in  bis  face;  for  he  saw  the  object 
De  Wardes  had  in  view.  "No;  who  has  been  appointed? 
In  any  case  it  must  have  been  very  recently,  for  the  appoint- 
ment was  vacant  eight  days  ago;  a  proof  of  which  is,  that 
the  king  refused  Monsieur,  who  solicited  the  post  for  one  of 
h.\B  proteges.'^ 

"Well,  the  king  refused  it  to  Monsieur's  protege,  in 
order  to  bestow  it  upon  the  Chevalier  d'Artagnan,  a  younger 
brother  of  some  Gascon  family,  who  has  been  training  his 
sword  in  the  antechambers  during  the  last  thirty  years." 

"Forgive  me  if  I  interrupt  you,"  said  Kaoul,  darting  a 
glance  full  of  severity  at  De  Wardes;  "but  you  give  me  the 
impression  of  being  unacquainted  with  the  gentleman  of 
whom  you  are  speaking." 

"I  unacquainted  with  Monsieur  d'Artagnan?  Can  you 
tell  me,  monsieur,  who  does  know  him?" 

"Those  who  know  him,  monsieur,"  replied  Eaoul,  with 
still  greater  calmness  and  sternness  of  manner,  "are  in  the 
habit  of  saying  that  if  he  is  not  as  good  a  gentleman  as  the 
king — which  is  not  his  fault — he  is  the  equal  of  all  the  kings 
of  the  earth  in  courage  and  loyalty.  Such  is  my  opinion, 
monsieur;  and  I  thank  Heaven  I  have  known  Monsieur 
d'Artagnan  from  my  birth." 

De  AVardes  was  about  to  reply  when  De  Guiche  inter- 
rupted him. 



The  discussion  was  becoming  full  of  bitterness.  De 
Guiche  perfectly  understood  the  whole  matter,  for  there  was 
in  Bragelonne's  look  something  distinctively  hostile,  while 
in  that  of  De  Wardes  there  was  something  like  a  determina- 
tion to  ofi'end.  Without  inquiring  into  the  different  feel- 
ings Avhich  actuated  his  two  friends,  De  Guiche  resolved  to 
ward  off  the  blow  which  he  felt  was  on  the  point  of  being 
dealt  by  one  of  them,  and  perhaps  by  both.  "Gentlemen," 
he  said,  "we   must  take  our  leave  of  one  another;  I  must 

TEN   TEAES    LATER.  41 

pay  a  visit  to  Monsieur.  You,  De  Wardes,  will  accompany 
me  to  the  Louvre,  and  you,  Eaoul,  will  remain  here  master 
of  the  house;  and  as  all  that  is  done  here  is  under  your  ad- 
vice, you  will  bestow  the  last  glance  upon  my  preparations 
for  departure." 

Eaoul,  with  the  air  of  one  who  neither  seeks  nor  fears  a 
quarrel,  bowed  his  head  in  token  of  assent,  and  seated  him- 
self upon  a  bench  in  the  sun.  "That  is  well,"  said  De 
Guiche,  "remain  where  you  are,  Eaoul,  and  tell  them  to 
show  you  the  two  horses  I  have  just  purchased;  you  will 
give  me  your  opinion,  for  I  only  bought  them  on  condition 
that  you  ratified  the  purchase.  By  the  bye,  I  have  to  beg 
your  pardon  for  having  omitted  to  inquire  after  the  Comte 
de  la  Fere."  While  pronouncing  these  latter  words,  he 
closely  observed  De  Wardes,  in  order  to  perceive  what  effect 
the  name  of  Eaoul's  father  would  produce  upon  him. 

"I  thank  you,"  answered  the  young  man,  "the  count  is 
very  well."  A  gleam  of  deep  hatred  passed  into  De  Wardes' 
eyes. '  De  Guiche,  who  apj)eared  not  to  notice  the  forebod- 
ing expression,  went  up  to  Eaoul,  and  grasping  him  by  the 
hand,  said: 

"It  is  agreed,  then,  Bragelonne,  that  you  will  rejoin  us  in 
the  courtyard  of  the  Palais  Eoyal?"  He  then  signed  to  De 
Wardes  to  follow  him,  who  had  been  engaged  in  balancing 
himself  first  on  one  foot,  then  on  the  other.  "We  are  go- 
ing," said  he;  "come.  Monsieur  Malicorne."  This  name 
made  Eaoul  start;  for  it  seemed  that  he  had  already  heard 
it  pronounced  before,  but  he  could  not  remember  on  what 
occasion.  AVhile  trying  fo  do  so,  half-dreamily,  yet  half- 
irritated  at  his  conversation  with  De  Wardes,  the  three 
young  men  were  on  their  way  toward  the  Palais  Eoyal, 
where  Monsieur  was  residing,  Malicorne  learned  "tw® 
things;  the  first,  that  the  young  men  had  something  to  say 
to  one  another;  and  the  second,  that  he  ought  not  to  walk 
in  the  same  line  with  them;  and  therefore  he  walked  be- 
hind. "Are  you  mad?"  said  De  Guiche  to  his  companion, 
as  soon  as  they  had  left  the  Hotel  Grammont;  "you  attack 
Monsieur  d'Artagnan,  and  that,  too,  before  Eaoul," 

"Well,"  said  De  Wardes,  "what  then?" 

"What  do  you  mean  by  'what  then?'  " 

"Certainly,  is  there  any  prohibition  against  attacking 
Monsieur  d'Artagnan?" 

"But  you  know  very  well  that  Monsieur  d'Artagnan  was 
one  of  those  celebrated  and  terrible  four  men  who  were 
called  the  musketeers." 


'"That  they  may  be;  but  I  do  not  perceive  why,  on  that 
account,  I  should  be  forbidden  to  hate  Monsieur  d'Artag- 

"What  cause  has  he  given  you?" 

"Me!  personally,  none." 

"Why  hate  him,  therefore?" 

"Ask  my  dead  father  that  question." 

"Eeally,  my  dear  De  Wardes,you  surprise  me.  Monsieur 
d'Artagnan  is  not  one  to  leave  unsettled  any  enmity  he 
may  have  to  arrange,  without  completely  clearing  his  ac- 
count. Your  father,  I  have  heard,  on  his  side,  carried  mat- 
ters with  a  high  hand.  Moreover,  there  are  no  enmities  so 
bitter  which  cannot  be  washed  away  by  blood,  by  a  good 
sword-thrust  loyally  given." 

"Listen  to  me,  my  dear  De  Guiche,  this  inveterate  dis- 
like existed  between  my  father  and  Monsieur  d'Artagnan, 
and  when  I  was  quite  a  child  he  acquainted  me  with  the 
reason  for  it,  and,  as  forming  part  of  my  inheritance,  I  re- 
gard it  as  a  particular  legacy  bestowed  ui^on  me." 

"And  does  this  hatred  concern  Monsieur  d'Artagnan 

"As  for  that.  Monsieur  d'Artagnan  was  too  intimately  as- 
sociated with  his  three  friends,  that  some  portion  of  the 
full  measure  of  my  hatred  for  him  should  not  fall  to  their 
lot,  and  that  hatred  is  of  such  a  nature  that,  whenever  the 
opportunity  occurs,  they  shall  have  no  occasion  to  complain 
of  their  portion." 

De  Guiche  had  kept  his  eyes  fixed  on  De  Wardes,  and 
shuddered  at  the  bitter  manner  in  which  the  young  man 
smiled.  Something  like  a  presentiment  flashed  across  his 
mind;  he  knew  that  the  time  had  passed  aw^y  for  grands 
coups  ejitre  gentilsliommes;  but  that  the  feeling  of  hatred 
treasured  up  in  the  mind,  instead  of  being  diffused  abroad, 
was  still  hatred  all  the  same;  that  a  smile  was  sometimes  as 
full  of  meaning  as  a  threat;  and,  in  a  word,  that  to  the 
fathers  who  had  hated  with  their  hearts  and  fought  with 
their  arms  Avould  now  succeed  the  sons,  who,  themselves 
also,  would  indeed  hate  with  their  hearts,  but  would  no 
longer  encounter  their  enemies,  save  by  the  means  of  in- 
trigue or  treachery.  As,  therefore,  it  certainly  was  not 
Raoul  whom  he  could  suspect  either  of  intrigue  or  treach- 
ery, it  was  on  Raoul's  account  that  De  Guiche  trembled. 
However,  while  these  gloomy  forebodings  cast  a  shade  of 
anxiety  over  De  Guiche's  countenance,  De  Wardes  had 
resumed  the  entire  mastery  over  himself. 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  43 

"At  all  events,"  he  observed,  "I  have  no  personal  ill-will 
toward  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne;  I  do  not  know  him  even." 

"In  any  case,"  said  De  Guiche,  with  a  certain  amount  of 
severity  in  his  tone  of  voice,  "do  not  forget  one  circum- 
stance, that  Raoul  is  my  most  intimate  friend;"  a  remark 
at  which  De  Wardes  bowed. 

The  conversation  terminated  there,  although  De  Guiche 
tried  his  utmost  to  draw  out  his  secret  from  him;  but, 
doubtless,  De  Wardes  had  determined  to  say  nothing  fur- 
ther, and  he  remained  impenetrable.  De  Guiche,  there- 
fore, promised  himself  a  more  satisfactory  result  with 
Eaoul.  In  the  meantime,  they  had  reached  the  Palais 
Eoyal,  which  was  surrounded  by  a  crowd  of  lookers-on. 
The  household  belonging  to  Monsieur  awaited  his  orders  to 
mount  their  horses,  in  order  to  form  part  of  the  escort  of 
the  embassadors,  to  whom  had  been  intrusted  the  care  of 
bringing  the  young  princess  to  Paris.  The  brilliant  disphiy 
of  horses,  arms,  and  rich  liveries  afforded  some  compensa- 
tion in  those  times,  thanks  to  the  kindly  feelings  of  the 
people,  and  to  the  traditions  of  deep  devotion  to  their 
sovereigns,  for  the  enormous  expenses  charged  upon  the 
taxes.  Mazarin  had  said:  "Let  them  sing,  provided  they 
pay;"  while  Louis  XIV.'s  remark  was,  "Let  them  look." 
Sight  had  replaced  the  voice;  the  people  could  still  look,  but 
they  could  no  longer  siag.  De  Guiche  left  De  Wardes  and 
Malicorne  at  the  bottom  of  the  grand  staircase,  while  he 
himself,  who  shared  the  favor  and  good  graces  of  Monsieur 
with  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine,  who  always  smiled  at  him 
most  affectionately,  while  he  could  not  endure  him,  went 
straight  to  the  prince's  apartments,  whom  he  found  engaged 
in  admiring  himself  in  a  glass,  and  in  putting  rouge  on  his 
face.  In  a  corner  of  the  cabinet  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine 
was  extended  full  length  upon  some  cushions,  having  just 
had  his  long  hair  curled,  with  which  he  was  playing  in  the 
same  manner  a  woman  would  have  done.  The  prince 
turned  round  as  the  count  entered,  and  perceiving  who  it 
was,  said:  "Ah!  is  that  you,  Guiche;  come  here  and  tell  me 
the  truth." 

"You  know,  my  lord,  it  is  one  of  my  defects  to  speak  the 

"You  will  hardly  believe,  De  Guiche,  how  that  wicked 
chevalier  has  annoyed  me." 

The  chevalier  shrugged  his  shoulders. 

"Well,  he  pretends,"  continued  the  prince,  "that  Made- 
moiselle Henrietta  is  better  looking  as  a  Avoman  than  I  am 
as  a  man." 

44  TEN"   YEAES    LATER. 

"Do  not  forget,  my  lord,"  said  De  Gniche,  frowning 
slightly,  "you  .require  me  to  speak  the  truth?" 

"Certainly,"  said  the  prince  tremblingly. 

"Well,  and  I  shall  tell  it  you." 

"Do  not  be  in  a  hurry,  Guiche,"  exclaimed  the  prince, 
"you  have  plenty  of  time;  look  at  me  attentively,  and  try 
and  recollect  madame.  Besides,  her  portrait  is  here.  Look 
at  it."  And  he  held  out  to  him  a  miniature  of  the  finest 
possible  execution.  De  Guiche  took  it,  and  looked  at  it  for 
a  long  time  attentively. 

"Upon  my  honor,  my  lord,  this  is  indeed  a  most  lovely 

"But  look  at  me,  count,  look  at  me,"  said  the  prince,  en- 
deavoring to  direct  upon  himself  the  attention  of  the  count, 
ivho  was  completely  absorbed  in  contemplation  of  the 

"It  is  wonderful,"  murmured  Guiche. 

"Really,  one  would  almost  imagine  you  had  never  seen 
this  girl  before." 

"It  is  true,  my  lord,  I  have  seen  her,  but  it  is  five  years 
ago;  there  is  a  great  difference  between  a  child  twelve  years 
old  and  a  young  girl  of  seventeen." 

"Well,  what  is  your  opinion?" 

"My  opinion  is  that  the  portrait  must  be  flattered,  my 

"Of  that,"  said  the  prince  triumphantly,  "there  can  be 
no  doubt;  but  let  us  suppose  that  it  is  not  flattered,  what 
would  your  opinion  be?" 

"My  lord,  your  highness  is  exceedingly  happy  to  have  so 
charming  a  bride." 

"Very  well,  that  is  your  opinion  of  her,  but  of  me?" 

"My  opinion,  my  lord,  is,  that  you  are  far  too  handsome 
for  a  man." 

The  Chevalier  de  Lorraine  burst  out  laughing.  The  prince 
understood  how  severe  toward  himself  this  opinion  of  the 
Comte  de  Guiche  was,  and  he  looked  somewhat  displeased, 
saying,  "My  friends  are  not  overindulgent."  De  Guiche 
looked  at  the  portrait  again,  and,  after  lengthened  contem- 
plation, returned  it  with  apparent  unwillingness,  saying, 
"Most  decidedly,  my  lord,  I  should  rather  prefer  to  look 
ten  times  at  your  highness  than  to  look  at  madame  once 

It  seemed  as  if  the  chevalier  had  detected  some  mystery 
in  these  words  which  were  incomprehensible  to  the  prince, 
for  he  exclaimed:  "Very  well,  get  married  yourself."    Mon- 

TEN   TEARS    LATER.  45 

sienr  continued  rouging  himself,  and  when  he  had  finished 
looked  at  the  portrait  again,  once  more  turned  to  admire 
himself  in  the  glass,  and  smiled,  and  no  doubt  was  satisfied 
with  the  comparison.  "You  are  very  kind  to  have  come," 
he  said  to  Guiche,  "I  feared  you  would  leave  without  bid- 
ding me  adieu." 

"Your  highness  knows  me  too  well  to  believe  me  capable 
of  so  great  a  disrespect." 

"Besides,  I  suppose  you  have  something  to  ask  from  me 
before  leaving  Paris?" 

"Your  highness  has  indeed  guessed  correctly,  for  I  have 
a  request  to  make." 

"Very  good,  what  is  it?" 

The  Chevalier  de  Lorraine  immediately  displayed  the 
greatest  attention,  for  he  regarded  every  favor  conferred 
upon  another  as  a  robbery  committed  against  himself. 
And,  as  Guiche  hesitated,  the  prince  said:  "If  it  be  money, 
nothing  could  be  more  fortunate,  for  I  am  in  funds;  the 
surintendant  of  the  finances  has  sent  me  five  hundred 
thousand  pistoles." 

"I  thank  your  highness;  but  it  is  not  an  affair  of  money." 

"What  is  it,  then?     Tell  me." 

"The  appointment  of  a  maid  of  honor." 

"Oh!  oh!  Guiche,  what  a  protector  you  have  become  of 
young  ladies,"  said  the  prince;  "you  never  speak  of  any 
one  else  now." 

The  Chevalier  de  Lorraine  smiled,  for  he  knew  very  well 
that  nothing  displeased  the  prince  more  than  to  show  any 
interest  in  ladies,  "My  lord,"  said  the  comte,  "it  is  not  I 
who  am  directly  interested  in  the  lady  of  whom  I  have  just 
spoken;  I  am  acting  on  behalf  of  one  of  my  friends." 

"Ah!  that  is  different.  AVhat  is  the  name  of  the  young 
lady  in  whom  your  friend  is  interested?" 

"Mademoiselle  de  la  Baume  le  Blanc  de  la  Valliere;  she 
is  already  maid  of  honor  to  the  dowager  princess." 

"Why,  she  is  lame,"  said  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine, 
stretching  himself  on  his  cushions. 

"Lame,"  repeated  the  prince,  "and  madame  to  have  her 
constantly  before  her  eyes?  Most  certainly  not;  it  may  be 
dangerous  for  her  when  in  an  interesting  condition."  The 
Chevalier  de  Lorraine  burst  out  laughing. 

"Chevalier,"  said  Guiche,  "your  conduct  is  ungenerous; 
while  I  am  soliciting  a  favor,  you  do  me  all  the  mischief  you 

"Forgive  me,  comte,"  said  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine, 

46  TEN"   YEARS    LATER. 

somewhat  uneasy  at  the  tone  in  which  Giiiche  had  made  his 
remark,  "but  I  had  no  intention  of  doing  so,  and  I  begin  to 
believe  that  I  have  mistaken  one  young  lady  for  another." 

"There  is  no  doubt  of  it,  monsieur;  and  I  do  not  hesitate 
to  declare  that  such  is  the  case." 

"Do  you  attach  much  importance  to  it,  Guiche?"  in- 
quired the  prince. 

"I  do,  my  lord." 

"Well,  you  shall  have  it;  but  ask  me  for  no  more  appoint- 
ments, for  there  are  none  to  give  away." 

"Ah!"  exclaimed  the  chevalier,  "midday  already;  that 
is  the  hour  fixed  for  the  departure." 

"You  dismiss  me,  monsieur?"  inquired  Guiche. 

"Eeally,  comte,  you  treat  me  very  ill  to-day/'  replied 
the  chevalier. 

"For  heaven's  sake,  comte,  for  heaven's  sake,  chevalier," 
said  Monsieur,  "do  you  not  see  how  you  are  distressing  me?" 

"My  signature?"  said  Guiche. 

"Take  a  blank  appointment  from  that  drawer,  and  give  it 
to  me."  Guiche  handed  the  prince  the  document  indi- 
cated, and  at  the  same  time  presented  him  with  a  pen  al- 
ready dipped  in  ink;  whereupon  the  prince  signed. 
"Here,"  he  said,  returning  him  the  appointment;  "but  I 
give  it  on  one  condition." 

"Name  it." 

"That  you  will  make  friends  with  the  chevalier." 

"Willingly,"  said  Guiche.  And  he  held  out  his  hand  to 
the  chevalier  with  an  indifference  amounting  to  contempt. 

"Adieu,  comte,"  said  the  chevalier,  without  seeming  in 
any  way  to  have  noticed  the  comte's  slight;  "adieu,  and 
bring  us  back  a  princess  who  will  not  talk  with  her  own 
portrait  too  much." 

"Yes,  set  off  and  lose  no  time.  By  the  bye,  who  accom- 
panies you?" 

"Bragelonne  and  De  Wardes." 

"Both  excellent  and  fearless  companions." 

"Too  fearless,"  said  the  chevalier;  "endeavor  to  bring 
them  both  back,  comte." 

"Bad  heart,  bad  heart,"  murmured  De  Guiche;  "he 
scents  mischief  everywhere,  and  sooner  than  anything  else  " 
And  taking  leave  of  the  prince,  he  quitted  the  apartment. 
As  soon  as  he  reached  the  vestibule  he  waved  in  the  air  the 
paper  which  the  prince  had  signed.  Malicorne  hurried  for- 
ward, and  received  it  trembling  with  delight.  When,  how- 
ever, he  held  it  in  his  hand,  Guiche  observed  that  he  still 
awaited  something  further. 

TEK   TEARS    LATER.  47 

''Patience,  monsieur,"  he  said;  "the  Chevalier  de  Lor- 
raine was  there,  and  I  feared  an  utter  failure  if  I  asked  too 
much  at  once.     Wait  until  I  return.     Adieu." 

"Adieu,  Monsieur  le  Comte;  a  thousand  thanks,"  said 

"Send  Manicanip  to  me.  By  the  way,  monsieur,  is  it 
true  that  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere  is  lame?"  As  he  said 
this  a  horse  drew  up  behind  him,  and  on  turning  round  he 
noticed  that  Bragelonne,  who  had  just  at  that  moment  en- 
tered the  courtyard,  turned  suddenly  pale.  The  poor  lover 
had  heard  the  remark,  which,  however,  was  not  the  case  with 
Malicorne,  for  he  was  already  beyond  the  reach  of  the 
comte 's  voice. 

"Why  is  Louise's  name  spoken  of  here?"  said  Eaoul  to 
himself;  "oh!  let  not  De  Wardes,  who  stands  smiling  yon- 
der, even  say  a  word  about  her  in  my  presence." 

"Now,  gentlemen,"  exclaimed  the  Comte  de  Guiche, 
"prepare  to  start." 

At  this  moment  the  prince,  who  had  completed  his  toilet, 
appeared  at  the  window,  and  was  immediately  saluted  by 
the  acclamations  of  all  who  composed  the  escort,  and  ten 
minutes  afterward  banners,  scarfs,  and  feathers  were  flut- 
tering and  waving  in  the  air,  as  the  cavalcade  galloped  away 



This  brilliant  and  animated  company,  the  members  of 
which  were  inspired  by  various  feelings,  arrived  at  Havre 
four  days  after  their  departure  from  Paris.  It  was  about 
five  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  and  no  intelligence  had  yet 
been  received  of  madame.  They  were  soon  engaged  in 
quest  of  apartments;  but  the  greatest  confusion  immedi- 
ately ensued  among  the  masters,  and  violent  quarrels  among 
their  attendants.  In  the  midst  of  this  disorder  the  Comte 
de  Guiche  fancied  he  recognized  Manicamp.  It  was,  in- 
deed, Manicamp  himself;  but  as  Malicorne  had  taken 
possession  of  his  very  best  costume,  he  had  not  been  able  to 
get  any  other  than  a  suit  of  violet  velvet  trimmed  with 
silver.  Guiche  recognized  him  as  much  by  his  dress  as  by 
his  features,  for  he  had  very  frequently  seen  Manicamp  in 
this  violet  suit,  which  was  his  last  resource.  ManicamjD  pre- 
sented himself  to   the   comte   under   an  arch  of   torches. 

48  TEK   YEAES    LATER. 

which  set  fire  to,  rather  than  illuminated,  the  gate  by  which 
Havre  is  entered,  and  which  is  situated  close  to  the  tower 
of  Francis  I.  The  comte,  remarking  the  woe-begane  ex- 
pression of  Mauicamp's  face,  could  not  resist  laughing. 
"Well,  my  poor  Manicamp,"  he  exclaimed,  "how  violet  you 
look;  are  you  in  mourning?" 

"Yes,"  replied  Manicamp;  "I  am  in  mourning." 

"For  whom,  or  for  what?" 

"For  my  blue-and-gold  suit,  which  has  disappeared,  and 
in  place  of  which  I  could  find  nothing  but  this;  and  I  was 
even  obliged  to  economize,  from  compulsion,  in  order  to 
get  possession  of  it." 


"It  is  singular  you  should  be  astonished  at  that,  since  you 
leave  me  without  any  money." 

"At  all  events,  here  you  are,  and  that  is  the  principal 

"By  the  most  horrible  roads." 

"Where  are  you  lodging?" 



"I  am  not  lodging  anywhere." 

De  Guiche  began  to  laugh.  "Well,"  said  he,  ''where  do 
you  intend  to  lodge?" 

"In  the  same  place  you  do." 

"But  I  don't  know." 

"What  do  you  mean  by  saying  you  don't  know?" 

"Certainly,  how  is  it  likely  I  should  know  where  I  should 

"Have  you  not  retained  a  hotel?" 


"Yes,  you  or  the  prince." 

"Neither  of  us  has  thought  of  it.  Havre  is  of  consider- 
able size,  I  suppose;  and  provided  I  can  get  a  stable  for  a 
dozen  horses  and  a  suitable  house  in  a  good  quarter " 

"Certainly,  there  are  some  very  excellent  houses." 

"Well,  then " 

"But  not  for  us." 

"What  do  you  mean  by  saying  not  for  us?  For  whom,- 

"For  the  En2:lish,  of  course." 

"For  the  English?" 

"Yes;  the  houses  are  all  taken." 

"By  whom?" 

"By  the  Duke  of  Buckingham." 

TEX    TEARS    LATER.  49 

"I  beg  your  pardon!"  said  Giiiche,  whose  attention  this 
name  had  awakened. 

"Yes,  by  the  Duke  of  Buckingham.  His  grace  has  been 
preceded  by  a  courier,  who  arrived  here  three  days  ago,  and 
immediately  retained  all  the  houses  fit  for  habitation  which 
the  town  possesses." 

"Come,  come,  Manicamp,  let  us  understand  each  other." 

"Well,  what  I  have  told  you  is  clear  enough,  it  seems  to 

"But  surely  Buckingham  does  not  occupy  the  whole  of 

"He  certainly  does  not  occupy  it,  since  he  has  not  yet 
arrived;  but  when  once  disembarked,  he  will  occupy  it." 

"Oh!  oh!" 

"It  is  quite  clear  you  are  not  acquainted  with  the  Eng- 
lish; they  have  a  perfect  rage  for  monopolizing  every- 

"That  may  be;  but  a  man  who  has  the  whole  of  one 
house  is  satisfied  with  it,  and  does  not  require  two." 

"Yes,  but  two  men?" 

"Be  it  so;  for  two  men,  two  houses,  or  four,  or  six,  or 
ten,  if  you  like;  but  there  are  a  hundred  houses  at  Havre." 

"Yes,  and  all  the  hundred  are  let." 


"What  an  obstinate  fellow  you  are!  I  tell  you  Bucking- 
ham has  hired  all  the  houses  surrounding  the  one  which  the 
queen  dowager  of  England  and  the  princess,  her  daughter, 
will  inhabit." 

"He  is  singular  enough,  indeed,"  said  De  Wardes,  caress- 
ing his  horse's  neck. 

"Such  is  the  case,  however,  monsieur." 

"You  are  quite  sure  of  it.  Monsieur  de  Manicamp?"  and 
as  he  put  this  question  he  looked  slyly  at  De  Guiche,  as 
though  to  interrogate  him  upon  the  degree  of  confidence  to 
be  placed  in  his  friend's  state  of  mind.  During  this  dis- 
cussion the  night  had  closed  in,  and  the  torches,  pages,  at- 
tendants, squires,  horses,  and  carriages  blocked  up  the 
gate  and  the  open  place.  The  torches  were  reflected  in  the 
channel  which  the  rising  tide  was  gradually  filling,  while 
on  the  other  side  of  the  jetty  might  be  noticed  groups  of 
curious  lookers-on,  consisting  of  sailors  and  townspeople, 
who  seemed  anxious  to  miss  nothing  of  the  spectacle.  Amid 
all  this  hesitation  of  purpose,  Bragelonne,  as  though  a  per- 
fect stranger  to  the  scene,  remained  on  his  horse  somewhat 
in  the  rear  of  Guiche,  and  watched  the  rays  of  light  re- 
DuMAS— Vol.  XY.  3 

50  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

fleeted  in  the  water,  inhaling  with  rapture  the  sea  breezes, 
and  listening  to  the  waves  which  noisily  broke  upon  the 
shore  and  on  the  beach,  dashing  the  spray  into  the  air  with 
a  noise  which  echoed  in  the  distance.  "But,"  exclaimed 
De  Guiche,  "what  is  Buckingham's  motive  for  providing 
such  a  supply  of  lodgings?" 

"Yes,  yes,"  said  De  Wardes;  "what  reason  has  he?" 

"A  very  excellent  one,"  replied  Manicamp. 

"You  know  what  it  is,  then?" 

"I  fancy  I  do." 

"Tell  us,  then." 

"Bend  your  head  down  toward  me." 

"What!  can  it  not  be  said  except  in  secrecy?" 

"You  shall  judge  of  that  yourself." 

"Very  well."     De  Guiche  bent  down. 

"Love,"  said  Manicamp. 

"1  do  not  understand  you  at  all." 

"Say,  rather,  you  cannot  understand  me  yet.^' 

"Explain  yourself." 

"Very  well;  it  is  quite  certain,  count,  that  his  royal  high- 
ness will  be  the  most  unfortunate  of  husbands." 

"What  do  you  mean?" 

"The  Duke  of  Buckingham "  ^ 

"It  is  a  name  of  ill-omen  to  princes  of  the  house  of 

"And  so  the  duke  is  madly  in  love  with  madame,  so  the 
rumor  runs,  and  will  have  no  one  apj)roach  near  her  but 

De  Guiche  colored.  "Thank  you,  thank  you,"  said  he 
to  Manicamp,  grasping  his  hand.  Then,  recovering  him- 
self, added:  "Whatever  you  do,  Manicamp,  be  careful  that 
this  project  of  Buckingham  is  not  made  known  to  any 
Frenchman  here;  for,  if  so,  swords  will  be  unsheathed  in 
this  country  which  do  not  fear  the  English  steel." 

"But  after  all,"  said  Manicamp,  "I  have  had  no  satis- 
factory proof  given  me  of  the  love  in  question,  and  it  may 
be  no  more  than  a  mere  idle  tale." 

"No,  no,"  said  De  Guiche;  "it  must  be  the  truth;"  and 
despite  his  command  over  himself  he  clinched  his  teeth. 

"Well,"  said  Manicamp,  "after  all,  what  does  it  matter 
to  you?     What  does  it  matter  to  me  whether  the  prince  is 
to  be  what  the  late  king  was?     Buckingham   the  father  for 
the  queen,  Buckingham  the  son  for  the  young  princess," 
"Manicamp!  Manicamp!" 
"It  is  a  fact,  or  at  least,  everybody  says  so." 

TEN   YEARd    LATEE.  51 

"Silence!"  said  the  count. 

''But  Avhy  silence?"  said  De  Wardes;  "it  is  a  highly 
creditable  circumstance  for  the  French  nation.  Are  not 
you  of  my  opinion.  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne?" 

"To  what  circumstance  do  you  allude?"  inquired  De 
Bragelonne,  with  an  abstracted  air. 

"That  the  English  should  render  homage  to  the  beauty 
of  our  queens  and  our  princesses." 

"Forgive  me,  but  I  have  not  been  paying  attention  to 
what  has  passed;  will  you  oblige  me  by  explaining?" 

"There  is  no  doubt  it  was  necessary  that  Buckingham  the 
father  should  come  to  Paris  in  order  that  his  majesty  King 
Louis  XIII.  should  perceive  that  his  wife  was  one  of  the 
most  beautiful  women  of  the  French  court;  and  it  seems 
necessary,  at  the  present  time,  that  Buckingham  the  son 
should  consecrate,  by  the  devotion  of  his  worship,  the 
beauty  of  a  princess  who  has  French  blood  in  her  veins. 
The  fact  of  having  inspired  a  passion  on  the  other  side  of 
the  Channel  will  henceforth  confer  a  title  to  beauty  on  its 

"Sir,"  replied  De  Bragelonne,  "I  do  not  like  to  hear 
such  matters  treated  so  lightly.  Gentlemen  as  we  are 
should  be  careful  guardians  of  the  honor  of  our  queens  and 
our  princesses.  If  we  jest  at  them  what  will  our  servants 

"How  am  I  to  understand  that?"  said  De  Wardes,  whose 
ears  tingled  at  the  remark. 

"In  any  way  you  choose,  monsieur,"  replied  De  Brage- 
lonne coldly. 

"Bragelonne,  Bragelonne!"  murmured  De  Guiche. 

"Monsieur  de  Wardes,"  exclaimed  Manicamp,  noticing 
that  the  young  man  had  spurred  his  horse  close  to  the  side 
of  Eaoul. 

"Gentlemen,  gentlemen,"  said  De  Guiche,  "do  not  set 
such  an  example  in  public,  in  the  street,  too.  De  Wardes, 
you  are  wrong." 

"Wrong?     In  what  way,  may  I  ask  you?" 

"You  are  wrong,  monsieur,  because  you  are  always  speak- 
ing ill  of  some  one  or  something,"  replied  Kaoul,  with 
undisturbed  composure. 

"Be  indulgent,  Raoul,"  said  De  Guiche,  in  an  undertone. 

"Pray  do  not  think  of  fighting,  gentlemen,"  said  Mani- 
camp, "before  you  have  rested  yourselves;  for  in  that  case 
you  will  not  be  able  to  do  much." 

"Come,"  said  De  Guiche,  "forward,  gentlemen!"  and. 


breaking  through  the  horses  and  attendants,  he  cleared  the 
way  for  himself  toward  the  center  oi  the  square,  through 
the  crowd,  followed  by  the  whole  cavalcade.  A  large  gate- 
way looking  out  upon  a  courtyard  was  open;  Guiche  entered 
the  courtyard,  and  Brageloune,  De  Wardes,  Manicamp,  and 
three  or  four  other  gentlemen,  followed  him.  A  sort  of 
council  of  war  was  held,  and  the  means  to  be  employed  for 
saving  the  dignity  of  the  embassy  were  deliberated  upon. 
Bragelonne  was  of  opinion  that  the  right  of  priority  should 
be  respected,  while  De  Wardes  suggested  that  the  town 
should  be  sacked.  This  latter  proposition  aj)peared  to 
Manicamp  rather  rash,  he  proposing,  instead,  that  they 
should  first  rest  themselves.  This  was  the  wisest  thing  to 
do,  but,  unhappily,  to  follow  his  advice  two  things  only 
were  wanting,  namely,  a  house  and  beds.  De  Guiche  re- 
flected for  awhile,  and  then  said,  aloud: 

"Let  him  who  loves  me  follow  me!" 

"The  attendants  also?"  inquired  a  page  who  had  ap- 
proached the  group. 

"Every   one,"   exclaimed   the    impetuous    young    man. 
"Manicamp,  show  us  the  way  to  the  house  destined  for  her- 
royal  highness'  residence." 

Without  in  any  way  divining  the  count's  project  his 
friends  followed  him,  accompanied  by  a  crowd  of  people, 
whose  acclamations  and  delight  seemed  a  happy  omen  for 
the  success  of  the  project  with  which  they  were  yet  unac- 
quainted. The  wind  was  blowing  loudly  from  the  harbor, 
and  moaning  in  fitful  gusts. 


AT   SEA. 

The  following  day  was  somewhat  calmer,  although  the 
wind  still  continued  to  blow.  The  sun  had,  however,  risen 
through  a  bank  of  reddened  clouds,  tingeiug  with  its  crim- 
son rays  the  crests  of  the  black  waves.  Watch  was  im- 
patiently kept  from  the  different  lookouts.  Toward  eleven 
o'clock  in  the  morning  a  ship,  with  sails  full  set,  was 
signaled  as  in  view;  two  others  followed  at  the  distance  of 
about  half  a  knot.  They  approached  like  arrows  shot  from 
the  bow  of  a  skillful  archer;  and  yet  the  sea  ran  so  high 
that  their  speed  was  as  nothing  compared  to  the  rolling  of 
the  billows  in  which  the  vessels  were  plunging  first  in  one 


direction  and  then  in  another.  The  English  fleet  was  soon 
recognized  by  the  lines  of  the  ships,  and  by  the  color  of 
their  pennants;  the  one  which  had  the  princess  on  board 
and  carried  the  admiral's  flag  preceded  the  others. 

The  rumor  now  spead  that  the  princess  was  arriving. 
The  whole  French  court  ran  to  the  harbor,  while  the  quays 
and  jetties  were  soon  covered  by  crowds  of  people.  Two 
hours  afterward  the  other  vessels  had  overtaken  the  flag- 
ship, and  the  throe,  not  venturing  perhaps  to  enter  the  nar- 
row entrance  of  the  harbor,  cast  anchor  between  Havre  and 
La  Heve.  When  the  maneuver  had  been  completed  the 
vessel  Avhich  bore  the  admiral  saluted  France  by  twelve  dis- 
charges of  cannon,  which  were  returned,  discharge  for  dis- 
charge, from  Fort  Francis  I.  Immediately  afterward  a 
hundred  boats  were  launched — they  were  covered  with  the 
richest  stuffs,  and  destined  for  the  conveyance  of  the  differ- 
ent members  of  the  French  nobility  toward  the  vessels  at 
anchor.  But  when  it  was  observed  that  even  inside  the 
harbor  the  boats  were  tossed  to  and  fro,  and  that  beyond 
the  jetty  the  waves  rose  mountains  high,  dashing  upon  the 
shore  with  a  terrible  uproar,  it  will  readily  be  believed  that 
not  one  of  those  frail  boats  would  be  able  with  safety  to 
reach  a  fourth  part  of  the  distance  between  the  shore  and 
the  vessels  at  anchor.  A  pilot-boat,  however,  notwith- 
standing the  wind  and  the  sea,  was  getting  ready  to  leave 
the  harbor  for  the  purpose  of  placing  itself  at  the  admiral's 

De  Guiche,  who  had  been  looking  among  the  different 
boats  for  one  stronger  than  the  others,  which  might  offer  a 
chance  of  reaching  the  English  vessels,  perceiving  the  pilot- 
boat  getting  ready  to  start,  said  to  Eaoul: 

"Do  you  not  think,  Eaoul,  that  intelligent  and  vigorous 
men,  as  we  are,  ought  to  be  ashamed  to  retreat  before  the 
brute  strength  of  wind  and  waves?" 

"That  is  precisely  the  very  reflection  I  was  silently  mak- 
ing to  myself,"  replied  Bragelonne. 

"Shall  we  get  into  that  boat,  then,  and  push  off?  Will 
you  come,  De  Wardes?" 

"Take  care,  or  you  will  get  drowned,"  said  Manicamp. 

"Ani  for  no  purpose,"  said  De  Wardes,  "for,  with  the 
wind  dead  against  you,  as  it  will  be,  you  will  never  reach 
the  vessels." 

"You  refuse,  then?" 

"Assuredly  I  do;  I  would  willingly  risk  and  lose  my  life 
in  an  encounter  against  men,"  he  said,  glancing  at  Brage- 


lonne,  "but  as  to  fighting  with  oars  against  waves,  I  have 
no  taste  for  that!" 

"And  for  myself,"  said  Manicamp,  "even  were  I  to  suc- 
ceed in  reaching  the  ships,  I  should  not  be  indifferent  to 
the  loss  of  the  only  good  dress  which  I  have  left — salt-water 
would  splash  and  spoil  it." 

"You,  then,  refuse  also?"  exclaimed  De  Guiche. 

"Decidedly  I  do;  I  beg  you  to  understand  that  most 

"But,"  exclaimed  De  Guiche,  look,  De  Wardes — look, 
Manicamp — look  yonder,  the  princesses  are  looking  at  us 
from  the  poop  of  the  admiral's  vessel." 

"An  additional  reason,  my  dear  fellow,  why  we  should 
not  make  ourselves  ridiculous  by  taking  a  bath  while  they 
are  looking  on." 

"Is  that  your  last  word,  Manicamp?" 


"And  then  yours,  De  Wardes?" 


"Then  I  go  alone." 

"Not  so,"  said  Raoul,  "for  I  shall  accompany  you;  I 
thought  it  was  understood  we  should  do  so." 

The  fact  is,  that  Eaoul,  uninfluenced  by  any  devotion, 
measuring  the  risk  they  would  run,  saw  how  imminent  the 
danger  was,  but  he  willingly  allowed  himself  to  accept  a 
peril  which  De  Wardes  had  declined. 

The  boat  was  about  to  set  off  when  De  Guiche  called  to 
the  pilot. 

"Stay,"  said  he;  "we  want  two  places  in  your  boat;" 
and  wrapping  five  or  six  pistoles  in  paper,  he  threw  them 
from  the  quay  into  the  boat. 

"It  seems  you  are  not  afraid  of  salt-water,  young  gentle- 

"We  are  afraid  of  nothing,"  replied  De  Guiche. 

"Come  along,  then." 

The  pilot  approached  the  side  of  the  boat,  and  the  two 
young  men.  one  after  the  other,  with  equal  vivacity,  jumped 
into  the  boat. 

"Courage,  my  men,"  said  De  Guiche;  "I  have  twenty 
pistoles  left  in  this  purse,  and  as  soon  as  we  reach  the 
admiral's  vessel  they  shall  be  yours." 

The  sailors  bent  themselves  to  their  oars,  and  the  boat 
bounded  over  the  crest  of  the  w£Cves.  The  interest  taken 
in  this  hazardous  expedition  was  universal;  the  whole  popu- 
lation of  Havre  hurried  toward  the  jetties,  and  every  look 


was  directed  toward  the  little  bark;  at  one  moment  it  re- 
mained suspended  upon  the  crest  of  the  foaming  waves, 
then  suddenly  glided  downward  toward  the  bottom  of  a 
roaring  abyss,  where  it  seemed  utterly  lost  within  it.  At 
the  expiration  of  an  hour's  struggling  with  the  waves  it 
reached  the  spot  where  the  admiral's  vessel  was  anchored, 
and  from  the  side  of  which  two  boats  had  already  been  dis- 
patched toward  their  aid.  Upon  the  quarter-deck  of  the 
flag-ship,  sheltered  by  a  canopy  of  velvet  and  ermine,  which 
v/as  suspended  by  stout  supports,  Mme.  Henrietta,  the 
queen  dowager,  and  the  young  princess — with  the  admiral, 
the  Duke  of  Norfolk,  standing  beside  them — watched  with 
alarm  this  slender  bark,  at  one  moment  carried  to  the 
heavens,  and  the  next  buried  beneath  the  waves,  and 
against  whose  dark  sail  the  noble  figures  of  the  two  French 
noblemen  stood  forth  in  relief  like  two  luminous  appari- 
tions. The  crew,  leaning  against  the  bulwarks,  and  cling- 
ing to  the  shrouds,  cheered  the  courage  of  the  two  daring 
young  men,  the  skill  of  the  pilot,  and  the  strength  of  the 
sailors.  They  were  received  at  the  side  of  the  vessel  by  a 
shout  of  triumph.  The  Duke  of  Norfolk,  a  handsome 
young  man,  from  twenty-six  to  twenty-eight  years  of  age, 
advanced  to  meet  them.  De  Guiche  and  Bragelonne  lightly 
mounted  the  ladder  on  the  starboard  side,  and,  conducted 
by  the  Duke  of  Norfolk,  who  resumed  his  place  near  them, 
they  approached  to  offer  their  homage  to  the  princesses.  Re- 
spect, and  yet  more,  a  certain  apprehension,  for  which  he 
could  not  account,  had  hitherto  restrained  the  Comte  de 
Guiche  from  looking  at  madame  attentively,  who,  however, 
had  observed  him  immediately,  and  had  asked  her  mother: 
"Is  not  that  Monsieur  in  the  boat  yonder?" 
Mme.  Henrietta,  Avho  knew  Monsieur  better  than  her 
daughter  did,  smiled  at  the  mistake  her  vanity  had  led  her 
into,  and  had  answered: 

"No;  it  is  only  Monsieur  de  Guiche,  his  favorite." 
The  princess,  at  this  reply,  had  been  obliged  to  check  an 
instinctive  tenderness  of  feeling  which  the  courage  dis- 
played by  the  count  had  awakened.  At  the  very  moment 
the  princess  had  put  this  question  to  her  mother,  De  Guiche 
had,  at  last,  summoned  courage  to  raise  his  eyes  toward  her, 
and  could  compare  the  original  with  the  portrait  he  had  so 
lately  seen.  No  sooner  had  he  remarked  her  pale  face,  her 
eyes  so  full  of  animation,  her  beautiful  nut-brown  hair,  her 
expressive  lips,  and  her  every  gesture,  which,  while  betoken- 
ing her  royal  descent,  seemed  to  thank  and  to  encourage 

56  TEN    TEARS    LATER. 

him  at  one  and  the  same  time,  than  he  was,  for  a  moment, 
so  overcome  that,  had  it  not  been  for  Raoul,  on  whose  arm 
he  leaned,  he  would  have  fallen.  His  friend's  amazed  look, 
and  the  encouraging  gesture  of  the  queen,  restored  Guiche 
to  his  self-possession.  In  a  few  words  he  explained  his  mis- 
sion, explained  in  what  way  he  had  become  the  envoy  of  his 
royal  highness;  and  saluted,  according  to  their  rank  and 
the  reception  they  gave  him,  the  admiral  and  several  of  the 
English  noblemen  who  were  grouped  around  the  princesses. 

Eaoul  was  then  presented,  and  was  most  graciously  re- 
ceived; the  share  that  the  Comte  de  la  Fere  had  had  in  the 
restoration  of  Charles  II.  was  known  to  all;  and,  more  than 
that,  it  was  the  comte  who  had  been  charged  with  the  nego- 
tiation of  the  marriage,  by  means  of  which  the  granddaugh- 
ter of  Henry  IV.  was  now  returning  to  France.  Raoul 
spoke  English  perfectly,  and  constituted  himself  his 
friend's  interpreter  with  the  young  English  noblemen,  who 
were  indifferently  acquainted  with  the  French  language. 
At  this  moment  a  young  man  came  forward,  of  extremely 
handsome  features,  and  whose  dress  and  arms  were  remark- 
able for  their  extravagance  of  material.  He  approached  the 
princesses,  who  were  engaged  in  conversation  with  the  Duke 
of  Norfolk,  and,  in  a  voice  which  ill  concealed  his  impa- 
tience, said: 

"It  is  time  now  to  disembark,  your  royal  highness." 

The  younger  of  the  princesses  rose  from  her  seat  at  this 
remark,  and  was  about  to  take  the  hand  which  the  young 
nobleman  had  extended  to  her,  with  an  eagerness  which 
arose  from  a  variety  of  motives,  when  the  admiral  advanced 
between  them,  observing: 

"A  moment,  if  you  please,  my  lord;  it  is  not  possible  for 
ladies  to  disembark  Just  now,  the  sea  is  too  rough;  it  is 
probable  the  wind  may  abate  toward  four  o'clock,  and  the 
lauding  will  not  be  effected,  therefore,  until  this  evening." 

"Allow  me  to  observe,  my  lord,"  said  Buckingham,  with 
an  irritation  of  manner  which  he  did  not  seek  to  disguise, 
"you  detain  these  ladies,  and  you  have  no  right  to  do  so. 
One  of  them,  unhappily,  now  belongs  to  France,  and  you 
perceive  that  France  claims  them  by  the  voice  of  her  em- 
bassadors;" and  at  the  same  moment  he  indicated  Eaoul 
and  Guiche,  whom  he  saluted. 

"I  cannot  suppose  that  these  gentlemen  intend  to  expose 
the  lives  of  their  royal  highnesses,"  replied  the  admiral. 

"These  gentlemen,"  retorted  Buckingham,  "arrived  here 
safely,  notwithstanding  the  wind;  allow  me  to  believe  that 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  67 

the  danger  will  not  be  greater  for  their  royal  highnesses 
when  the  wind  will  be  in  their  favor." 

"These  gentlemen  have  shown  how  great  their  courage 
is,"  said  the  admiral.  "You  may  have  observed  that  there 
was  a  great  number  of  persons  on  shore  who  did  not  venture 
to  accompany  them.  Moreover,  the  desire  which  they  had 
to  show  their  respect  with  the  least  possible  delay  to  madame 
and  her  illustrious  mother  induced  them  to  confront  the 
sea,  which  is  very  tempestuous  to-day,  even  for  sailors. 
Tliese  gentlemen,  however,  whom  I  recommend  as  an  ex- 
ample for  my  officers  to  follow,  can  hardly  be  so  for  these 

Madame  glanced  at  the  Comte  de  Guiche,  and  perceived 
that  his  face  was  burning  with  confusion.  This  look  had 
escaped  Buckingham,  who  had  eyes  for  nothing  but  watch- 
ing Norfolk,  of  whom  he  was  evidently  very  jealous,  and 
seemed  anxious  to  remove  the  princesses  from  the  deck  of 
a  vessel  where  the  admiral  reigned  supreme. 

"In  that  case,"  returned  Buckingham,  "I  appeal  to 
madame  herself." 

"And  I,  my  lord,"  retorted  the  admiral,  "I  appeal  to  my 
own  conscience,  and  to  my  own  sense  of  responsibility.  I 
have  undertaken  to  convey  madame  safely  and  soundly  to 
France,  and  I  shall  keep  my  promise." 

"Yet,  sir — "  continued  Buckingham. 

"My  lord,  permit  me  to  remind  you  that  I  command 

"Are  you  aware  what  you  are  saying,  my  lord?"  replied 
Buckingham  haughtily. 

"Perfectly  so;  I  therefore  repeat  it:  I  alone  command 
here;  all  yield  obedience  to  me;  the  sea  and  the  winds,  the 
ships  and  men,  too." 

This  remark  was  made  in  a  dignified  and  authoritative 
manner.  Eaoul  observed  its  effect  upon  Buckingham,  who 
trembled  from  head  to  foot,  and  leaned  against  one  of  the 
polos  of  the  tent  to  prevent  himself  falling;  his  eyes  became 
suffused  with  blood,  and  the  hand  which  he  did  not  need 
for  his  support  wandered  toward  the  hilt  of  his  sword. 

"My  lord,"  said  the  queen,  "permit  me  to  observe  that  I 
agree  in  every  particular  with  the  Duke  of  Norfolk;  if  the 
heavens,  instead  of  being  clouded,  as  they  are  at  the  present 
moment,  were  perfectly  serene  and  propitious,  we  can  afford 
to  bestow  a  few  hours  upon  the  officer  who  has  conducted 
us  so  successfully,  and  with  such  extreme  attention,  to  the 
French  coast,  where  he  is  to  take  leave  of  us." 

58  TEN    TEAES    LATER. 

Buckingham,  instead  of  replying,  seemed  to  seek  counsel 
from  the  expression  of  madame's  face.  She,  however,  half- 
concealed  beneath  the  thick  curtains  of  the  velvet  and  gold 
which  sheltered  her,  had  not  listened  to  the  discussion,  hav- 
ing been  occupied  in  watching  the  Comte  de  Guicbe,  who 
was  conversing  with  Eaoul.  This  was  a  fresh  misfortune 
for  Buckingbam,  who  fancied  he  perceived  in  Mme.  Henri- 
etta's look  a  deeper  feeling  than  that  of  curiosity.  He  with- 
drew, almost  tottering  in  his  gait,  and  nearly  stumbled 
against  the  mainmast  of  the  ship. 

"The  duke  has  not  acquired  a  steady  footing  yet,"  said 
the  queen-mother,  in  French,  "and  that  may  possibly  be  his 
reason  for  wishing  to  find  himself  on  firm  land  again." 

The  young  man  overheard  this  remark,  turned  suddenly 
pale,  and,  letting  his  hands  fall  in  great  discouragement  by 
his  side,  drew  aside,  mingling  in  one  sigh  his  old  affection  and 
his  new  hatreds.  The  admiral,  however,  without  taking  any 
further  notice  of  the  duke's  ill-humor,  led  the  princesses  into 
the  quarter-deck  cabin,  where  dinner  had  been  served  with  a 
magnificence  worthy  in  every  respect  of  his  guests.  The 
admiral  seated  himself  at  the  right  hand  of  the  princess, 
and  placed  the  Comte  de  Guiche  on  her  left.  This  was  the 
place  Buckingham  usually  occupied;  and  when  he  entered 
the  cabin,  how  profound  was  his  unhappiness  to  see  himself 
banished  by  etiquette  from  the  presence  of  the  sovereign  to 
whom  he  owed  respect,  to  a  position  inferior  to  that  which, 
by  his  rank,  he  was  entitled  to  occupy.  De  Guiche,  on  the 
other  hand,  paler  still,  perhaps  from  happiness,  than  his 
rival  was  from  anger,  seated  himself  tremblingly  next  the 
princess,  whose  silken  robe,  as  it  lightly  touched  him, 
caused  a  tremor  of  mingled  regret  and  happiness  to  pass 
through  his  whole  frame.  The  repast  finished,  Bucking- 
ham darted  forward  to  hand  Mme.  Henrietta  from  the 
table;  but  this  time  it  was  De  Guiche's  turn  to  give  the 
duke  a  lesson. 

"Have  the  goodness,  my  lord,  from  this  moment,"  said 
he,  "not  to  interpose  between  her  royal  highness  and  my- 
self. From  this  moment,  indeed,  her  royal  highness  be- 
longs to  France,  and  when  her  royal  highness  honors  me  by 
touching  my  hand,  it  is  the  hand  of  His  Eoyal  Highness 
Monsieur,  the  brother  of  the  King  of  France,  that  she 

And  saying  this,  he  presented  his  hand  to  Mme.  Henri- 
etta with  so  marked  a  timidity,  and,  at  the  same  time,  with 
a  nobleness  of  mien  so  intrepid,  that  a  murmur  of  admira- 

TEN"   YEARS   LATER.  59 

tion  rose  from  the  English,  while  a  groan  of  despair  escaped 
from  Buckingha'm's  lips.  Kaoul,  who  loved,  comprehended 
it  all.  He  fixed  upon  his  friend  one  of  those  profound 
looks  which  a  friend  or  a  mother  can  alone  extend,  either 
as  a  protector  or  guardian,  over  the  child  or  the  friend 
about  to  stray  from  the  right  path.  Toward  two  o'clock  in 
the  afternoon  the  sun  shone  forth,  the  wind  subsided,  the 
sea  became  smooth  as  a  crystal  mirror,  and  the  fog,  which 
had  shrouded  the  coast,  disappeared  like  a  veil  withdrawn 
from  before  it.  The  smiling  hills  of  France  then  appeared 
to  the  view,  with  their  numerous  white  houses,  rendered 
more  conspicuous  by  the  bright  green  of  the  trees  or  the 
clear  blue  sky. 



The  admiral,  as  has  been  seen,  had  determined  to  pay 
no  further  attention  to  Buckingham's  threatening  glances 
and  fits  of  passion.  In  fact,  from  the  moment  they  had  left 
England,  he  had  gradually  and  quietly  accustomed  himself 
to  it.  De  Guiche  had  not  yet  in  any  way  remarked  the 
animosity  which  appeared  to  influence  that  young  nobleman 
against  him,  but  he  felt  instinctively  that  there  could  be  no 
sympathy  between  himself  and  the  favorite  of  Charles  II. 
The  queen-mother,  with  greater  experience  and  calmer 
judgment,  perceived  the  exact  position  of  affairs,  and,  as 
she  discerned  its  danger,  was  prepared  to  meet  it,  whenever 
the  proper  moment  should  arrive.  Quiet  had  been  every- 
where restored,  except  in  Buckingham's  heart;  he,  in  his 
impatience,  addressed  himself  to  the  princess,  in  a  low  tone 
of  voice: 

"For  heaven's  sake,  madame,  I  implore  you  to  hasten 
your  disembarkation.  Do  you  not  perceive  how  that  inso- 
lent Duke  of  Norfolk  is  killing  me  with  his  attentions  and 
devotions  to  you?" 

Henrietta  heard  this  remark;  she  smiled,  and  without 
turning  her  head  toward  him,  but  giving  only  to  the  tone 
of  her  voice  that  inflection  of  gentle  reproach  and  languid 
impertinence  which  coquetry  so  well  knows  how  to  assume, 
she  murmured: 

"I  have  already  told  you,  my  lord,  that  you  must  have 
taken  leave  of  your  senses. '^ 


Not  a  single  detail  escaped  Eaoul's  attention;  he  had 
heard  both  Buckingham's  entreaty  and  the  princess"  reply, 
he  had  remarked  Buckingham  retire,  had  heard  his  deep 
sigh,  and  saw  him  pass  his  hand  across  his  face.  He  under- 
stood everything,  and  trembled  as  he  reflected  on  the  posi- 
tion of  affairs,  and  the  state  of  the  minds  of  those  about 
him.  At  last  the  admiral,  with  studied  delay,  gave  the  last 
directions  for  the  departure  of  the  boats.  Buckingham 
heard  the  directions  given  with  such  an  exhibition  of  de- 
light that  a  stranger  would  almost  have  imagined  the 
young  man's  reason  was  affected.  As  the  Duke  of  Norfolk 
gave  his  orders,  a  large  boat  or  barge,  decked  with  flags, 
and  capable  of  holding  about  twenty  rowers  and  fifteen  pas- 
sengers, was  slowly  lowered  from  the  side  of  the  admiral's 
vessel.  The  barge  was  carpeted  with  velvet  and  decorated 
with  coverings  embroidered  with  the  arms  of  Englajid,  and 
with  garlands  of  flowers;  for,  at  that  time,  signs  and  par- 
ables were  cultivated  freely  enough.  No  sooner  was  the 
boat  afloat,  and  the  rowers,  with  oars  uplifted,  awaiting, 
like  soldiers  presenting  arms,  the  embarkation  of  the 
princess,  than  Buckingham  ran  forward  to  the  ladder  in 
order  to  take  his  place  in  the  boat.  His  progress  was,  how- 
ever, arrested  by  the  queen. 

"My  lord,"  she  said,  "it  is  hardly  becoming  that  you 
should  allow  my  daughter  and  myself  to  laud  without  hav- 
ing previously  ascertained  that  our  apartments  are  properly 
prepared.  I  beg  your  lordship  to  be  good  enough  to  pre- 
cede us  ashore,  and  to  give  directions  that  everything  be  in 
proper  order  on  our  arrival." 

This  was  a  fresh  disappointment  for  the  duke,  and  still 
more  so  since  it  was  so  unexpected.  He  hesitated,  colored 
violently,  but  could  not  reply.  He  had  thought  he  might 
be  able  to  keep  near  madame  during  the  passage  to  the 
shore,  and,  by  this  means,  to  enjoy  to  the  very  last  moment 
the  brief  period  which  fortune  still  reserved  for  him.  The 
order,  however,  was  explicit;  and  the  admiral,  who  heard  it 
given,  immediately  called  out: 

"Launch  the  ship's  gig!" 

His  directions  were  executed  with  that  celerity  which 
distinguishes  every  maneuver  on  board  a  man-of-war. 

Buckingham,  in  utter  helplessness,  cast  a  look  of  despair 
at  the  princess,  of  supplication  toward  the  queen,  and  di- 
rected a  glance  full  of  anger  toward  the  admiral.  The 
princess  pretended  not  to  notice  him,  while  the  queen 
turned  aside  her  head,  and  the  admiral  laughed  outright. 

TElSr   YEARS   LATEK.  61 

at  the  sound  of  which  Buckingham  seemed  ready  to  spring 
upon  him.  The  queen-mother  rose,  and  with  a  tone  of 
authority,  said: 

"Pray  set  off,  sir." 

The  young  duke  hesitated,  looked  around  him,  and  with 
a  last  effort,  half-choked  by  contending  emotions,  said: 

"And  you,  gentlemen,  Monsieur  de  Guiche  and  Monsieur 
de  Bragelonne,  do  not  you  accompany  me?" 

De  Guiche  bowed  and  said: 

"Both  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne  and  myself  await  her 
majesty's  orders;  whatever  may  be  the  commands  she  im- 
poses on  us,  we  shall  obey  them." 

Saying  this,  he  looked  toward  the  princess,  who  cast  down 
her  eyes. 

"Your  grace  will  remember,"  said  the  queen,  "that 
Monsieur  de  Guiche  is  here  to  represent  Monsieur;  it  is  he 
who  will  do  the  honors  of  France,  as  you  have  done  those  of 
England;  his  presence  cannot  be  dispensed  with;  besides, 
we  owe  him  this  slight  favor  for  the  courage  he  displayed 
in  venturing  to  seek  us  in  such  terrible  weather." 

Buckingham  opened  his  lips,  as  if  he  were  about  to  speak, 
but,  whether  thoughts  or  expressions  failed  him,  not  a  syl- 
lable escaped  them,  and  turning  away,  as  though  he  were 
out  of  his  mind,  he  leaped  from  the  vessel  into  the  boat. 
The  sailors  were  just  in  time  to  catch  hold  of  him  to  steady 
themselves;  for  his  weight  and  the  rebound  had  almost 
upset  the  boat. 

"His  grace  cannot  be  in  his  senses,"  said  the  admiral, 
aloud,  to  Eaoul. 

"I  am  uneasy  on  his  grace's  account,"  replied  Brage- 

AVhile  the  boat  was  advancing  toward  the  shore  the 
duke  kept  his  eyes  immovably  fixed  upon  the  admiral's 
ship,  like  a  miser  torn  away  from  his  coffers,  or  like  a 
mother  separated  from  her  child,  about  to  be  led  away  to 
death.  No  one,  however,  acknowledged  his  signals,  his 
gesticulations,  or  his  pitiful  gestures.  In  very  anguish  of 
mind  he  sank  down  in  the  boat,  burying  his  hands  in  his 
hair,  while  the  boat,  impelled  by  the  exertions  of  the 
thoughtless  sailors,  flew  over  the  waves.  On  his  arrival  he 
was  in  such  a  state  of  apathy  that,  had  he  not  been  received 
at  the  harbor  by  the  messenger  whom  he  had  directed  to 
precede  him,  he  would  hardly  have  been  able  to  ask  his 
way.  Having  once,  however,  reached  the  house  which  had 
been  set  apart  for  him,  he  shut  himself  up,  like  Achilles  in 


his  tent.  The  barge  bearing  the  princesses  quitted  the  ad- 
miral's vessel  at  the  very  moment  Buckingham  had  landed. 
It  was  followed  by  another  boat  filled  with  oflBcers,  courtiers, 
and  zealous  friends.  Great  numbers  of  the  inhabitants  of 
Havre,  having  embarked  in  fishing-boats  and  boats  of  every 
description,  set  ofl:  to  meet  the  royal  barge.  The  cannon 
from  the  forts  fired  salutes,  which  were  returned  by  the 
flag-ship  and  the  two  other  vessels,  and  the  flashes  from  the 
open  mouths  of  the  cannon  floated  in  white  vapors  over  the 
waves,  and  then  disaj)peared  in  the  clear  blue  sky. 

The  princess  landed  at  the  steps  of  the  quay.  Bands  of 
gay  music  greeted  her  arrival,  and  accompanied  her  every 
step  she  took.  During  the  time  she  was  passing  through 
the  center  of  the  town,  and  treading  beneath  her  delicate 
feet  the  richest  carpets  and  the  gayest  flowers,  which  had 
been  strewn  upon  the  ground,  De  Guiche  and  Raoul,  escap- 
ing from  their  English  friends,  hurried  through  the  town 
and  hastened  rapidly  toward  the  place  intended  for  the 
residence  of  madame. 

"Let  us  hurry  forward,"  said  Eaoulto  De  Guiche,  "for,  if 
I  read  Buckingham's  character  aright,  he  will  create  some 
disturbance  when  he  learns  the  result  of  our  deliberations 

"Never  fear,"  said  De  Guiche,  "De  "Wardes  is  there,  who 
is  determination  itself,  while  Manicamp  is  the  very  personi- 
fication of  gentleness." 

De  Guiche  was  not,  however,  the  less  diligent  on  that  ac- 
count, and  five  minutes  afterward  they  were  in  sight  of  the 
Hotel  de  Ville.  The  first  thing  which  struck  them  was  the 
number  of  people  assembled  in  front  of  the  square. 

"Excellent!"  said  De  Guiche;  "our  apartments,  I  see,  are 

In  fact,  in  front  of  the  Hotel  de  Ville,  upon  the  wide  open 
space  before  it,  eight  tents  had  been  raised,  surmounted  by 
the  flags  of  France  and  England  united.  The  hotel  was 
surrounded  by  tents,  as  by  a  girdle  of  variegated  colors;  ten 
pages  and  a  dozen  mounted  troopers,  who  had  been  given 
to  the  embassadors  for  an  escort,  mounted  guard  before  the 
tents.  It  had  a  singularly  curious  effect,  almost  fairy-like 
in  its  appearance.  These  tents  had  been  constructed  dur- 
ing the  night-time.  Fitted  up,  within  and  without,  with 
the  richest  materials  that  De  Guiche  had  been  able  to  pro- 
cure in  Havre,  they  completely  encircled  the  Hotel  de  Ville. 
The  only  jDassage  which  led  to  the  steps  of  the  hotel,  and 
which  was  not  inclosed  by  the  silken  barricade,  was  guarded 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  63 

by  two  tents,  resembling  two  pavilions,  the  doorways  of 
both  of  which  opened  toward  the  entrance.  These  two 
tents  were  destined  for  De  Guiche  and  Eaoul;  in  whose  ab- 
sence they  were  intended  to  be  occupied,  that  of  De  Guiche 
by  De  Wardes,  and  that  of  Eaoul  by  Manicamp.  Surround- 
ing these  two  tents  and  the  six  others,  a  hundred  officers, 
gentlemen,  and  pages,  dazzling  in  their  display  of  silk  and 
gold,  thronged  like  bees  around  a  hive.  Every  one  of  them, 
their  swords  by  their  sides,  was  ready  to  obey  the  slightest 
sign  either  of  De  Guiche  or  Bragelonne,  the  two  leaders  of 
the  embassy. 

At  the  very  moment  the  two  young  men  appeared  at  the 
end  of  one  of  the  streets  leading  to  the  square  they  per- 
ceived, crossing  the  square  at  full  gallop,  a  young  man  on 
horseback,  and  whose  costume  was  of  surprising  richness. 
He  pushed  hastily  through  the  crowd  of  curious  lookers-on, 
and,  at  the  sight  of  these  unexpected  erections,  uttered  a 
cry  of  anger  and  dismay.  It  was  Buckingham,  who  had 
awakened  from  his  stupor,  in  order  to  adorn  himself  with  a 
costume  perfectly  dazzling  from  its  beauty,  and  to  await 
the  arrival  of  the  princess  and  the  queen-mother  at  the 
Hotel  de  Ville.  At  the  entrance  to  the  tents  the  soldiers 
bcirred  his  passage,  and  his  further  progress  was  arrested. 
Buckingham,  completely  infuriated,  raised  his  whip;  but 
his  am  was  seized  by  a  couple  of  the  officers.  Of  the  two 
guai'dians  of  the  tent  only  one  was  there.  De  Wardes  was 
in  the  interior  of  the  Hotel  de  Ville,  engaged  in  attending 
to  the  execution  of  some  orders  given  by  De  Guiche.  At 
the  noise  made  by  Buckingham  Manicamp,  who  was  indo- 
lently reclining  upon  the  cushions  at  the  doorway  of  one 
of  the  two  tents,  rose  with  his  usual  indifference,  and,  per- 
ceiving that  the  disturbance  continued,  made  his  appear- 
ance from  underneath  the  curtains. 

"What  is  the  matter?"  he  said,  in  a  gentle  tone  of  voice, 
"and  who  is  it  making  this  disturbance?" 

It  so  happened  that  at  the  moment  he  began  to  speak 
silence  had  just  been  restored,  and  although  his  voice  was 
very  soft  and  gentle  in  its  tone,  every  one  heard  his  qiies- 
tion.  Buckingham  turned  round  and  looked  at  the  tall, 
thin  figure,  and  the  listless  expression  of  countenance  of  his 
questioner.  Probably  the  personal  appearance  of  Mani- 
camp, who  was  dressed  very  plainly,  did  not  inspire  him 
with  much  respect,  for  he  replied  disdainfully: 

"Who  may  you  be,  monsieur?" 

Manicamp,  leaning  on  the  arm  of  a  gigantic  trooper,  as 

64  TEN"   YEAES   LATEE. 

firm  as  the  pillar  of  a  cathedral,  replied,  in  his  usual  tran- 
quil tone  of  voice: 

""And  you,  monsieur?" 

"I,  monsieur,  am  His  Grace  the  Duke  of  Buckingham;  I 
have  hired  all  the  houses  which  surround  the  Hotel  de 
Ville,  where  I  have  business  to  transact;  and  as  these 
houses  are  let,  they  belong  to  me,  and  as  1  hired  them  in 
order  to  preserve  the  right  of  free  access  to  the  Hotel  de 
Ville,  you  are  not  justified  in  preventing  me  passing  to  it." 

"But  who  prevents  you  passing,  monsieur?"  inquired 

"Your  sentinels." 

"Because  you  wish  to  pass  on  horseback,  and  orders  have 
been  given  to  let  only  persons  on  foot  pass." 

"No  one  has  any  right  to  give  orders  here,  except  my- 
self," said  Buckingham. 

"On  what  grounds?"  inquired  Manicamp,  with  his  soft 
tone.  "Will  you  do  me  the  favor  to  explain  this  enigma  to 

"Because,  as  I  have  already  told  you,  I  have  hired  all  the 
houses  looking  on  the  square." 

"We  are  very  -well  aware  of  that,  since  nothing  but  the 
square  itself  has  been  left  for  us." 

"You  are  mistaken,  monsieur;  the  square  belongs  to  me, 
as  well  as  the  houses  in  it." 

"Forgive  me,  monsieur,  but  you  are  mistaken  there.  In 
our  country,  we  say  the  highway  belongs  to  the  king,  there- 
fore this  square  is  his  majesty's;  and,  consequently,  as  we 
are  the  king's  ambassadors,  the  square  belongs  to  us." 

"I  have  already  asked  you  who  you  are,  monsieur,"  ex- 
claimed Buckingham,  exasperated  at  the  coolness  of  his 

"My  name  is  Manicamp,"  replied  the  young  man,  in  a 
voice  whose  tones  were  as  harmonious  and  sweet  as  the  notes 
of  an  ^olian  harp. 

Buckingham  shrugged  his  shoulders  contemptuously,  and 

"When  I  hired  these  houses  which  surround  the  H6tel  de 
Ville  the  square  was  unoccupied;  these  barracks  obstruct 
my  sight;  let  them  be  removed." 

A  hoarse  and  angry  murmur  ran  through  the  crowd  of 
listeners  at  these  words.  De  Guiche  arrived  at  this  mo- 
ment; he  pushed  through  the  crowd  which  separated  him 
from  Buckingham,  and,  followed  by  Eaoul,  arrived  on  the 
scene  of  action  from  one  side  just  as  De  Wardes  arrived 
from  the  other. 

TEN    YEAKS   LATER.  65 

"Pardon  me,  my  lord;  but  if  you  have  any  complaint  to 
make  have  the  goodness  to  address  it  to  me,  inasmuch  as 
it  was  I  who  sujjplied  the  plans  for  the  construction  of 
these  tents." 

"Moreover,  I  would  beg  you  to  observe,  monsieur,  that  the 
term  'barrack' is  objected  to,"  added  Manicamp  graciousiy. 

"You  were  saying,  monsieur — "  continued  De  Guiche. 

"I  was  saying.  Monsieur  le  Comte,"  resumed  Bucking- 
ham, in  a  tone  of  anger  more  marked  than  ever,  although 
in  some  measure  moderated  by  the  presence  of  an  equal,  "I 
was  saying  that  it  is  impossible  these  tents  can  remain  where 
they  are." 

"Impossible!"  exclaimed  De  Guiche,  "and  for  what  rea- 



"Because  I  object  to  them." 

A  movement  of  impatience  escaped  De  Guiche,  but  a 
warning  glance  from  Raoul  restrained  him. 

"You  should  the  less  object  to  them,  monsieur,  on  ac- 
count of  the  abuse  of  priority  you  have  permitted  yourself 
to  exercise." 


"Most  assuredly.  You  commission  a  messenger,  who 
hires  in  your  name  the  whole  of  the  town  of  Havre,  without 
considering  the  members  of  the  French  court,  who  would 
be  sure  to  arrive  here  to  meet  madame.  Your  grace  will 
admit  that  this  is  hardly  friendly  conduct  in  the  representa- 
tive of  a  friendly  nation." 

"The  right  of  possession  belongs  to  him  who  is  first  on 
the  spot." 

"Not  in  France,  monsieur." 

"Why  not  in  France?" 

"Because  France  is  a  country  where  politeness  is  ob- 

"Which  means?"  exclaimed  Buckingham,  in  so  violent  a 
manner  that  those  who  were  present  drew  back,  expecting 
an  immediate  collision. 

"Which  means,  monsieur,"  replied  De  Guiche,  turning 
pale,  "that  I  have  caused  these  tents  to  be  raised  as  habita- 
tions for  myself  and  my  friends,  as  a  shelter  for  the  ambas- 
sadors of  France,  as  the  only  place  of  refuge  which  your 
exactions  have  left  us  in  the  town;  and  that  I,  and  those 
who  are  with  me,  shall  remain  in  them,  at  least  until  an 
authority  more  powerful,  and  particularly  more  supreme, 
than  your  own  shall  dismiss  me  from  them." 

"In  other  words,  until  we  are  ejected,  as  the  lawyers 
say,"  observed  Manicamp  blandly. 

66  TEN   TEARS    LATER. 

"I  know  an  authority,  monsieur,  which  I  trust  will  be 
such  as  you  wish  for,"  said  Buckingham,  placing  his  hand 
on  his  sword. 

At  this  moment,  and  as  the  goddess  of  Discord,  inflaming 
all  minds,  was  about  to  direct  their  swords  against  each 
other,  Kaoul  gently  placed  his  hand  on  Buckingham's 

"One  word,  my  lord,"  he  said. 

"My  right,  my  right,  first  of  all!"  exclaimed  the  fiery 
young  man. 

"It  is  precisely  upon  that  point  I  wish  to  have  the  honor 
of  addressing  a  word  to  you." 

"Very  well,  monsieur;  but  let  your  remarks  be  brief." 

"One  question  is  all  I  ask;  you  can  hardly  expect  me  to 
be  briefer." 

"Speak,  monsieur;  I  am  listening." 

"Are  you,  or  is  the  Duke  of  Orleans,  going  to  marry  the 
granddaughter  of  Henry  IV.?" 

"What  do  you  mean?"  exclaimed  Buckingham,  retreat- 
ing a  few  steps,  quite  bewildered. 

"Have  the  goodness  to  answer  me,"  persisted  Raoul 

"Do  you  mean  to  ridicule  me,  monsieur?"  inquired  Buck- 

"Your  question  is  a  sufficient  answer  for  me.  You  ad- 
mit, then,  that  it  is  not  you  who  are  going  to  marry  the 

"Y"ou  know  it  perfectly  well,  monsieur,  I  should  imagine." 

"I  beg  your  pardon,  but  your  conduct  has  been  such  as 
to  leave  it  not  altogether  certain." 

"Proceed,  monsieur;  what  do  you  mean  to  convey?" 

Eaoul  approached  the  duke. 

"Are  you  aware,  my  lord,"  he  said,  lowering  his  voice, 
"that  your  extravagances  very  much  resemble  the  excesses 
of  Jealousy?  These  jealous  fits,  with  respect  to  any  woman, 
are  not  becoming  in  one  who  is  neither  her  lover  nor  her 
husband;  and  I  am  sure  you  will  admit  that  my  remark  ap- 
plies with  still  greater  force  when  the  lady  in  question  is  a 
princess  of  royal  blood." 

"Monsieur,"  exclaimed  Buckingham,  "do  you  mean  to 
insult  Madame  Henrietta?" 

"Be  careful,  my  lord,"  replied  Bragelonne  coldly,  "for 
it  is  you  v/ho  insult  her.  A  little  while  since,  when  on 
board  the  admiral's  ship,  you  wearied  the  queen  and  ex- 
hausted the  admiral's  patience.     I  was  observing,  my  lord; 

TEN    YEAKS    LATER.  67 

and  at  first  I  concluded  you  were  not  in  possession  of  your 
senses,  but  I  have  since  surmised  the  real  character  of  your 

"Monsieur!^'  exclaimed  Buckingham. 

"One  moment  more,  for  I  have  yet  another  word  to  add. 
I  trust  I  am  the  only  one  of  my  companions  who  has  guessed 

"Are  you  aware,  monsieur,"  said  Buckingham,  trembling 
with  mingled  feelings  of  anger  and  uneasiness,  "are  you 
aware  that  you  are  holding  a  language  toward  me  which 
requires  to  be  checked?" 

"Weigh  your  words  well,  my  lord,"  said  Raoul  haugh- 
tily; "my  nature  is  not  such  that  its  vivacities  need  check- 
ing; while  you,  on  the  contrary,  are  descended  from  a  race 
whose  passions  are  suspected  by  all  true  Frenchmen;  I 
repeat,  therefore,  for  the  second  time,  be  careful." 

"Careful  of  what,  may  I  ask?  Do  you  presume  to 
threaten  me?" 

"I  am  the  son  of  the  Comte  de  la  Fere,  my  lord,  and  I 
never  threaten,  because  I  strike  first.  Therefore,  under- 
stand me  well,  the  threat  that  I  hold  out  to  you  is  this " 

Buckingham  clinched  his  hands,  but  Raoul  continued,  as 
though  he  had  not  observed  the  movement. 

"At  the  very  first  word,  beyond  the  respect  and  defer- 
ence due  to  her  royal  highness,  which  you  permit  yourself 
to  use  toward  her —  Be  patient,  my  lord,  for  I  am  per- 
fectly so." 


"Undoubtedly.  So  long  asmadame  remained  on  English 
territory,  I  held  my  peace;  but  from  the  very  moment  she 
stepped  on  French  ground,  and  now  that  we  have  received 
her  in  the  name  of  the  prince,  I  warn  you  that  at  the  first 
mark  of  disrespect  which  you,  in  your  insane  attachment, 
shall  exhibit  toward  the  royal  house  of  France,  I  shall  have 
one  of  two  courses  to  follow:  either  I  declare,  in  the  pres- 
ence of  every  one,  the  madness  with  which  you  are  now 
affected,  and  I  get  you  ignominiously  dismissed  to  England; 
or,  if  you  prefer  it,  I  will  run  my  dagger  through  your 
throat  in  the  presence  of  all  here.  This  second  alternative 
seems  to  me  the  least  disagreeable,  and  I  think  I  shall  hold 
to  it." 

Buckingham  had  become  paler  than  the  lace  collar  around 
his  neck. 

"Monsieur  de  Bragelonne,"  he  said,  "is  it,  indeed,  a 
gentleman  who  is  speaking  to  me?" 


"Yes;  only  the  gentleman  is  speaking  to  a  madman. 
Get  cured,  my  lord,  and  he  will  hold  quite  another  language 
to  you." 

"But,  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne,"  murmured  the  duke,  in 
a  voice  half-choked,  and  putting  his  hand  to  his  neck,  "do 
you  not  see  I  am  dying?" 

"If  your  death  were  to  take  place  at  this  moment,  my 
lord,"  replied  Eaoul,  with  unruffled  composure,  "I  should 
indeed  regard  it  as  a  great  happiness,  for  this  circum- 
stance would  prevent  all  kinds  of  evil  remarks;  not  alone 
about  yourself,  but  also  about  those  illustrious  persons  whom 
your  devotion  is  compromising  in  so  absurd  a  manner." 

"You  are  right,  you  are  right,"  said  the  young  man, 
almost  beside  himself.  "Yes,  yes;  better  to  die  than  to 
suSer  as  I  do  at  this  moment." 

And  he  grasped  a  beautiful  dagger,  the  handle  of  which 
was  inlaid  with  precious  stones,  and  which  he  half  drew 
from  his  breast. 

Eaoul  thrust  his  hand  aside. 

"Be  careful  what  you  do,"  he  said;  "if  you  do  not  kill 
yourself,  you  commit  a  ridiculous  action;  and  if  you  were 
to  kill  yourself,  you  sprinkle  blood  upon  the  nuptial  robe  of 
the  Princess  of  England." 

Buckingham  remained  a  minute  gasping  for  breath;  dur- 
ing this  interval  his  lips  quivered^  his  fingers  worked  con- 
vulsively; and  his  eyes  wandered  as  though  in  delirium. 
Then  suddenly  he  said: 

"Monsieur  d-e  Bragelonne,  I  know  nowhere  a  nobler  mind 
than  yours;  you  are,  indeed,  a  worthy  son  of  the  most  per- 
fect gentleman  that  ever  lived.     Keep  your  tents." 

And  he  threw  his  arms  round  Raoul's  neck.  All  who 
were  present,  astounded  at  this  conduct,  which  was  such  as 
they  could  hardly  have  expected  considering  the  violence 
of  the  one  adversary  and  the  determination  of  the  other, 
began  immediately  to  clap  their  hands,  and  a  thousand 
cheers  and  joyful  shouts  arose  from  all  sides.  De  Guiche, 
in  his  turn,  embraced  Buckingham,  somewhat  against  his 
inclination;  but,  at  all  events,  he  did  embrace  him.  This 
was  the  signal  for  French  and  English  to  do  the  same;  and 
they  who,  until  that  moment,  had  looked  at  each  other  with 
restless  uncertainty,  fraternized  on  the  spot.  In  the  mean- 
time, the  procession  of  the  princess  arrived,  and  had  it  not 
been  for  Bragelonne,  two  armies  would  have  been  engaged 
together  in  conflict,  and  blood  have  been  shed  upon  the 
flowers  with  which  the  ground  was  covered.     At  the  appear- 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  69 

ance,  however,  of  the  banners  borne  at  the  head  of  the 
procession,  quiet  was  restored. 



Concord  had  returned  to  resume  its  place  amid  the  tents. 
English  and  French  rivaled  each  other  in  their  devotion 
and  courteous  attention  to  the  two  illustrious  travelers. 
The  English  forwarded  to  the  French  baskets  of  flowers,  of 
which  they  had  made  a  plentiful  provision  to  greet  the  ar- 
rival of  the  young  jDrincess;  the  French  in  return  invited 
the  English  to  a  supper,  which  was  to  be  given  the  next 
day.  Congratulations  were  poured  in  upon  the  princess 
everywhere  during  her  journey.  From  the  respect  paid  her 
on  all  sides,  she  seemed  like  a  queen;  and  from  the  adora- 
tion with  which  she  was  treated  by  some  two  or  three,  she 
seemed  like  an  object  of  worship.  The  queen-mother  gave 
the  French  the  most  affectionate  reception.  France  was 
her  native  country,  and  she  had  suffered  too  much  unhap- 
piness  in  England  for  England  to  have  made  her  forget 
France.  She  taught  her  daughter,  then,  by  her  own  affec- 
tion for  it,  that  love  for  a  country  where  they  had  both  been 
hospitably  received,  and  where  a  brilliant  future  was  being 
opened  before  them.  After  the  public  entry  was  over,  and 
the  spectators  in  the  streets  had  somewhat  dispersed,  and  the 
sound  of  the  music  and  cheering  of  the  crowd  could  be  heard 
only  in  the  distance,  when  the  night  had  closed  in,  Avrap- 
ping,  with  its  star-covered  mantle,  the  sea,  the  harbor,  the 
town,  and  surrounding  country,  De  Guiche,  still  excited  by 
the  great  event  of  the  day,  returned  to  his  tent  and  seated 
himself  upon  one  of  the  stools  with  so  profound  an  expres- 
sion of  distress  that  Bragelonne  kept  his  eyes  fixed  on  him 
until  he  heard  him  sigh,  and  then  he  approached  him.  The 
count  had  thrown  himself  back  on  his  seat,  leaning  his 
shoulders  against  the  partition  of  the  tent,  and  remained 
thus,  his  face  buried  in  his  hands,  and  with  heaving  chest 
and  restless  limbs. 

"You  are  suffering?"  asked  Raoul. 


"Bodily,  I  suppose?'^ 

"Yes,  bodily." 

"This  has,  indeed,  been  a  harassing  day,"  continued  the 
young  man,  his  eyes  fixed  upon  his  friend. 

70  TEN"   TEARS   LATEB. 

'*Yes;  a  night's  rest  will  restore  me." 

"Shall  I  leave  yoiT?" 

"No;  I  wish  to  talk  to  you." 

"You  shall  not  speak  to  me,  Guiche,  until  you  have  first 
answered  me  my  questions/' 

"Proceed,  then." 

"You  will  be  frank  with  me?" 

"As  I  always  am." 

"Can  you  imagine  why  Buckingham  has  been  so  violent?" 

"I  suspect  why." 

"Because  he  is  in  love  with  madame,  is  it  not?" 

"One  could  almost  swear  to  it,  to  see  him." 

"You  are  mistaken;  there  is  nothing  of  the  kind." 

"It  is  you  who  are  mistaken,  Eaoul;  I  have  read  his  dis- 
tress in  his  eyes,  in  his  every  gesture  and  action  the  whole 

"You  are  a  poet,  my  dear  count,  and  find  subjects  for 
your  muse  everywhere." 

"I  can  perceive  love  clearly  enough." 

"Where  it  does  not  exist?" 

"Nay,  where  it  does  exist." 

"Do  you  not  think  you  are  deceiving  yourself,  Guiche?" 

"I  am  convinced  of  what  I  say,"  said  the  count. 

"Now,  inform  me,  count,"  said  Raoul,  fixing  a  penetrat- 
ing look  upon  him,  "what  has^  happened  to  render  you  so 
•  clear-sighted?" 

Guiche  hesitated  for  a  moment,  and  then  answered: 

"Self-love,  I  suppose." 

"Self-love  is  a  very  long  word,  Guiche." 

"What  do  you  mean?" 

"I  mean  that,  generally,  you  are  less  out  of  sjDirits  than 
seems  to  be  the  case  this  evening." 

"I  am  fatigued." 

"Listen  to  me,  dear  Guiche;  we  have  been  campaigners 
together;  we  have  been  on  horseback  for  eighteen  hours  at 
a  time,  and  our  horses,  even  dying  from  fatigue,  or  from 
sheer  exhaustion,  or  hunger,  have  fallen  beneath  us,  and 
yet  we  have  laughed  at  our  mishaps.  Believe  me,  it  is  not 
fatigue  which  saddens  you  to-night." 

"It  is  annoyance,  then." 

"What  annoyance?" 

"That  of  this  evening." 

"The  mad  conduct  of  the  Duke  of  Buckingham,  do  you 

"Of  course;  is  it  not  vexatious  for  us,  the  representatives 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  71 

of  our  sovereign  master,  to  witness  the  devotion  of  an  Eng- 
lishman to  our  future  mistress,  the  second  lady  in  point  of 
rank  in  the  kingdom?" 

"Yes,  you're  right;  but  I  do  not  think  any  danger  is  to 
be  apprehended  from  Buckingham." 

"No;  still  he  is  intrusive.  Did  he  not,  on  his  arrival 
here,  almost  succeed  in  creating  a  disturbance  between  the 
English  and  ourselves;  and,  had  it  not  been  for  you,  for 
your  admirable  prudence,  for  your  singular  decision  of 
cliaracter,  swords  would  have  been  drawn  in  the  very  streets 
of  the  town." 

"You  observe,  however,  that  he  has  changed." 

"Yes,  certainly;  but  it  is  that  which  amazes  me  so  much. 
You  spoke  to  him  in  a  low  tone  of  voice;  what  did  you  say 
to  him?  You  think  he  loves  her;  you  admit  that  such  a 
passion  does  not  give  way  readily.  He  does  not  love  her, 

De  Guiche  pronounced  the  latter  words  with  so  marked 
an  expression  that  Eaoul  raised  his  head.  The  noble  char- 
actor  of  the  young  man's  countenance  expressed  a  displeas- 
ure which  could  easily  be  read. 

"What  I  said  to  him,  count,"  replied  Eaoul,  "I  will  re- 
peat to  you.  Listen  to  me.  I  said,  'You  are  regarding 
with  wistful  feelings,  and  with  most  injurious  desire,  the 
sister  of  your  prince — her  to  whom  you  are  not  affianced, 
who  is  not,  who  can  never  be  anything  to  you;  you  are  out- 
raging those  who,  like  ourselves,  have  come  to  seek  a  young 
girl  to  lead  her  to  her  husband.'  " 

"You  spoke  to  him  in  that  manner?"  asked  Guiche, 

"In  those  very  terms;  I  even  added  more.  'How  would 
you  regard  us,'  I  said,  'if  you  were  to  perceive  among  us  a 
man  mad  enough,  disloyal  enough,  to  entertain  other  than 
sentiments  of  the  most  perfect  respect  for  a  princess  who  is 
the  destined  wife  of  our  master?'  " 

These  words  were  so  applicable  to  De  Guiche  that  he 
turned  pale,  and,  overcome  by  a  sudden  agitation,  was 
barely  able  to  stretch  out  one  hand  mechanically  toward 
Eaoul,  as  he  covered  his  eyes  and  face  with  the  other. 

"But,"  continued  Eaoul,  not  interrupted  by  this  move- 
ment of  his  friend,  "Heaven  be  praised,  the  French,  who  are 
pronounced  to  be  thoughtless  and  indiscreet,  reckless  even, 
are  capable  of  bringing  a  calm  and  sound  judgment  to  bear 
on  matters  of  such  high  importance.  I  added  even  more, 
for  I  said:  'Learn,  my  lor:l,  that  we  gentlemen  of  France 


devote  ourselves  to  our  sovereigns  by  sacrificing  for  them 
our  affections,  as  well  as  our  fortunes  and  our  lives;  and 
whenever  it  may  chance  to  happen  that  the  tempter -suggests 
one  of  those  vile  thoughts  which  set  the  heart  on  fire,  we 
extinguish  that  flame,  even  were  it  done  by  shedding  our 
blood  for  the  purpose.  Thus  it  is  that  the  honor  of  three 
persons  is  saved:  our  country's,  our  master's,  and  our  own. 
It  is  thus  that  we  act,  your  grace;  it  is  thus  that  every  man 
of  honor  ought  to  act.'  In  this  manner,  my  dear  Guiche," 
continued  Kaoul,  "I  addressed  the  Duke  of  Buckingham; 
and  he  admitted  and  resigned  himself  unresistingly  to  my 

De  Guiche,  who  had  hitherto  sat  leaning  forward  while 
Eaoul  was  speaking,  drew  himself  up,  his  eyes  glancing 
proudly;  he  seized  Kaoul's  hand;  his  face,  which  had  been 
as  cold  as  ice,  seemed  on  fire. 

"And  you  spoke  right  well,"  he  said,  in  a  voice  half- 
choked;  "you  are  indeed  a  friend,  Eaoul.  And  now,  I 
entreat  you,  leave  me  to  myself." 

"Do  you  wish  it?" 

"Yes;  I  need  repose.  Many  things  have  agitated  me  to- 
day, both  in  mind  and  body;  when  you  return  to-morrow  I 
shall  no  longer  be  the  same  man." 

"I  leave  you,  then,"  said  Eaoul,  as  he  withdrew.  The 
count  advanced  a  step  toward  his  friend  and  pressed  him 
warmly  in  Ms  arms.  But  in  this  friendly  pressure  Eaoul 
could  detect  the  nervous  agitation  of  a  great  internal  con- 

The  night  was  clear,  starlight,  and  splendid;  the  tempest 
had  passed  away,  and  the  warmth  of  the  sun  had  restored 
life,  peace,  and  security  everywhere.  A  few  light,  fleecy 
clouds  were  floating  in  the  heavens,  and  indicated  from  their 
appearance  a  continuance  of  beautiful  weather,  tempered 
by  a  gentle  breeze  from  the  east.  Upon  the  large  square  in 
front  of  the  hotel  the  large  shadows  of  the  tents,  inter- 
sected by  the  brillant  moonbeams,  formed,  as  it  were,  a 
huge  mosaic  of  black  and  white  flag-stones.  Soon,  how- 
ever, the  whole  town  was  wrapped  in  slumber;  a  feeble 
light  still  glimmered  in  madame's  apartment,  which  looked 
out  upon  the  square,  and  the  soft  rays  from  the  expiring 
lamp  seemed  to  be  the  image  of  the  calm  sleep  of  a  young 
girl,  hardly  yet  sensible  of  existence,  and  in  whom  the  flame 
of  life  sinks  down  as  sleep  steals  over  the  body.  Brage- 
lonne  quitted  the  tent  with  the  slow  and  measured  step  of 
a  man  curious  to  observe,  but  anxious  not  to  be  seen.     Shel- 

TEN"   TEARS    LATER.  73 

terecl  behind  the  tliick  curtains  of  his  own  tent,  embracing 
with  a  glance  the  whole  square,  he  noticed  that,  after  a  few 
moments'  pause,  the  curtains  of  De  Quiche's  tent  were 
agitated,  and  then  drawn  partially  aside.  Behind  them  he 
could  perceive  the  shadow  of  De  Guiche,  his  eyes  glistening 
in  the  obscurity,  fastened  ardently  upon  the  princess'  sit- 
ting apartment,  which  was  partially  lighted  by  the  lamp 
in  the  inner  room.  That  soft  light  which  illumined  the 
Avindows  was  the  count's  star.  The  fervent  aspirations  of 
his  nature  could  be  read  in  his  eyes.  Raoul,  concealed  in 
the  shadow,  divined  the  many  passionate  thoughts  which 
established,  between  the  tent  of  the  young  ambassador  and 
the  balcony  of  the  princess,  a  mysterious  and  magical  bond 
of  sympathy — a  bond  created  by  thoughts  imprinted  with  so 
much  strength  and  persistence  of  will  that  they  certainly 
besought  that  happy  and  loving  dreams  might  alight  upon 
the  perfumed  couch,  which  the  count,  with  the  eyes  of  his 
soul,  devoured  so  eagerly.  But  De  Guiche  and  Raoul  were 
not  the  only  watchers.  The  window  of  one  of  the  houses 
looking  on  the  square  was  opened,  too,  the  window  of  the 
house  where  Buckingham  resided.  By  the  aid  of  the  rays 
of  light  which  issued  from  this  latter  window  the  profile  of 
the  duke  could  be  distinctly  seen,  as  he  indolently  reclined 
upon  the  balcony  with  its  velvet  hangings;  he  &]&o  was 
breathing  in  the  direction  of  the  princess'  apartment  his 
prayers  and  the  wild  visions  of  his  love. 

Bragelonne  could  not  resist  smiling,  as,  thinking  of  ma- 
dame,  he  said  to  himself: 

"Hers  is,  indeed,  a  heart  well  besieged;"  and  then  added 
compassionately,  as  he  thought  of  Monsieur,  "and  he  is  a 
husband  well  threatened,  too;  it  is  a  good  thing  for  him 
that  he  is  a  prince  of  such  high  rank,  and  that  he  has  an 
army  to  win  for  him  that  which  is  his  own." 

Bragelonne  watched  for  some  time  the  conduct  of  the  two 
lovers,  listened  to  the  loud  and  uncivil  slumbers  of  Maui- 
camp,  who  snored  as  imperiously  as  though  he  had  his  blue- 
and-gold,  instead  of  his  violet  suit,  and  then  turned  toward 
the  night  breeze  which  bore  toward  him,  he  seemed  to 
think,  the  distant  song  of  the  nightingale;  and,  after  hav- 
ing laid  in  a  due  provision  of  melancholy,  another  nocturnal 
malady,  he  retired  to  rest,  thinking  that  with  regard  to  his 
own  love  affair,  perhaps  four  or  six  eyes,  quite  as  ardent  as 
those  of  De  Guiche  and  Buckingham,  were  coveting  his 
OAvn  idol  in  the  chateau  at  Blois. 

"And  Mademoiselle  de  Montalais  is  by  no  means  a  very 
safe  garrison,"  said  he  to  himself,  as  he  sighed  aloud. 
Dumas— Vol.  XV. 

^4:  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 



The  next  day  the  fetes  took  place,  accompanied  by  all 
the  pomp  and  animation  which  the  resources  of  the  town 
and  the  natural  disposition  of  men's  minds  could  supply. 
During  the  last  few  hours  spent  in  Havre  every  prepara- 
tion for  the  departure  had  been  made.  After  madame  had 
taken  leave  of  the  English  fleet,  and  once  again  had 
saluted  the  country  in  saluting  its  flags,  she  entered  the 
carriage  prepared  for  her,  surrounded  by  a  brilliant  escort. 
De  Guiche  had  hoped  that  the  Duke  of  Buckingham  would 
accompany  the  admiral  to  England;  but  Buckingham  suc- 
ceeded in  demonstrating  to  the  queen  that  there  would  be 
great  improi^riety  in  allowing  madame  to  proceed  to  Paris 
almost  entirely  alone.  As  soon  as  it  had  been  settled  that 
Buckingham  was  to  accompany  madame  the  young  duke 
selected  a  court  of  genllemen  and  officers  to  form  part  of 
his  own  suite,  so  th;  t  it  was  almost  an  army  which  pro- 
ceeded toward  Paris,  scattering  gold,  and  exciting  the  live- 
liest demonstrations  as  they  passed  through  the  different 
towns  and  villages  on  the  route.  The  weather  was  very 
fine.  France  is  a  beautiful  country,  especially  along  the 
route  by  which  the  procession  passed.  Spring  cast  its  flow- 
ers and  its  perfumed  foliage  upon  their  path.  Normandy, 
with  its  vast  variety  of  vegetation,  its  blue  skies  and  silver 
rivers,  displayed  itself  in  all  the  loveliness  of  a  paradise  for 
the  new  sister  of  the  king.  Fetes  and  brilliant  displays  re- 
ceived them  everywhere  along  the  line  of  march.  De 
Guiche  and  Buckingham  forgot  everything;  De  Guiche,  in 
his  anxiety  to  prevent  any  fresh  attempts  on  the  part  of 
the  duke,  and  Buckingham,  in  his  desire  to  awaken  in  the 
heart  of  the  princess  a  softer  remembrance  of  the  country, 
to  which  the  recollection  of  many  happy  days  belonged. 
But,  alas!  the  poor  duke  could  perceive  that  the  image  of 
that  country  so  cherished  by  himself  became,  from  day  to 
day,  more  and  more  effaced  in  madame's  mind,  in  exact  pro- 
portion as  her  affection  for  France  became  more  deeply 
engraved  on  her  heart.  In  fact,  it  was  not  difficult  to  per- 
ceive that  his  most  devoted  attention  awakened  no  acknowl- 
edgment, and  that  the  grace  with  which  he  rode  one  of  his 
most  fiery  horses  was  thrown  away,  for  it  was  only  casually 
and  by  the  merest  accident  that  the  princess'  eyes  were 
turned  toward  him.     In  vain  did  he  try,  in  order  to  fix 

TEN^   TEARS   LATER.  75 

upon  himself  one  of  those  looks,  which  were  thrown  care- 
lessly around,  or  bestowed  elsewhere,  to  produce  from  the 
animal  he  rode  its  greatest  display  of  strength,  speed,  tem- 
per, and  address;  in  vain  did  he,  by  exciting  his  horse 
almost  to  madness,  spur  him,  at  the  risk  of  dashing  himself 
in  pieces  against  the  trees  or  of  rolling  in  the  ditches,  over 
the  gates  and  barriers  which  they  passed,  or  down  the  steejD 
declivities  of  the  hills.  Madame,  whose  attention  had  been 
aroused  by  the  noise,  turned  her  head  for  a  moment  to  ob- 
serve the  cause  of  it,  and  then,  slightly  smiling,  again 
turned  round  to  her  faithful  guardians,  Eaoul  and  De 
(xuiche,  who  were  quietly  riding  at  her  carriage  doors. 
Buckingham  felt  himself  a  prey  to  all  the  tortures  of 
jealousy;  an  unknown,  unheard-of  anguish  glided  into  his 
veins  and  laid  siege  to  his  heart;  and  then,  as  if  to  show 
that  he  knew  the  folly  of  his  conduct,  and  that  he  wished 
to  correct,  by  the  humblest  submission,  his  flights  of  ab- 
surdity, he  mastered  his  horse,  and  compelled  him,  reeking 
with  sweat  and  flecked  with  foam,  to  champ  his  bit  close 
beside  the  carriage,  amid  the  crowd  of  courtiers.  Occa- 
sionally he  obtained  a  word  from  madame  as  a  recompense, 
and  yet  this  word  seemed  almost  a  reproach  to  him. 

"That  is  well,  my  lord,"  she  said;  "now  you  are  reasona- 

Or,  from  Eaoul: 

"Your  grace  is  killing  your  horse." 

Buckingham  listened  patiently  to  Eaoul's  remarks,  for 
he  instinctively  felt,  without  having  had  any  proof  that 
such  was  the  case,  that  Eaoul  checked  the  display  of  De 
Guiche's  feelings,  and  that,  had  it  not  been  for  Eaoul,  some 
mad  act  or  proceeding,  either  of  the  count  or  of  Bucking- 
ham himself,  would  have  brought  about  an  open  rupture 
or  a  disturbance,  and  jierhaps  even  exile  itself.  From  the 
moment  of  that  excited  conversation  which  the  two  young 
men  had  had  in  front  of  the  tents  at  Havre,  when  Eaoul 
had  made  the  duke  jjerceive  the  impropriety  of  his  conduct, 
Buckingham  had  felt  himself  attracted  toward  Eaoul  almost 
in  spite  of  himself.  He  often  entered  into  conversation 
with  him,  and  it  was  nearly  always  to  talk  to  him  either  of 
his  father  or  of  D'Artagnan,  their  mutual  friend,  in  whose 
praise  Buckingham  Avas  nearly  as  enthusiastic  as  Eaoul. 
Eaoul  endeavored,  as  much  as  possible,  to  make  the  conver- 
sation turn  upon  this  subject  in  De  Wardes'  presence,  who 
had,  during  the  whole  journey,  been  exceedingly  annoyed 
at  the  superior  position  taken  by  Bragelonne,  and  especially 

76  TEN   YEARS    LATER. 

by  his  influence  over  De  Guiche.  De  Wardes  had  that 
keen  and  observant  penetration  which  all  evil  natures  pos- 
sess; he  had  immediately  remarked  De  Guiche's  melancholy, 
and  the  nature  of  his  regard  for  the  princess.  Instead, 
however,  of  treating  the  subject  with  the  same  reserve 
which  Eaoul  had  practiced;  instead  of  regarding  with  that 
respect,  which  was  their  due,  the  obligations  and  duties  of 
society,  De  Wardes  resolutely  attacked  in  the  count  that 
ever-sounding  chord  of  juvenile  audacity  and  egotistical 
pride.  It  happened  one  evening,  during  a  halt  at  Nantes, 
that  while  De  Guiche  and  De  Wardes  were  leaning  against 
a  barrier,  engaged  in  conversation,  Buckingham  and  Kaoul 
were  also  talking  together  as  they  walked  up  and  down. 
Mauicamp  was  engaged  in  devotional  attentions  to  the  prin- 
cesses, who  already  treated  him  without  any  reserve,  on 
account  of  his  versatile  fancy,  his  frank  courtesy  of  man- 
ner, and  conciliatory  disposition. 

"Confess,"  said  De  Wardes,  "that  you  are  really  ill,  and 
that  your  pedagogue  of  a  friend  has  not  succeeded  in  cur- 
ing you." 

"I  do  not  understand  you,"  said  the  count. 

"And  yet  it  is  easy  enough;  you  are  dying  for  love." 

"You  are  mad,  De  Wardes." 

"Madness  it  would  be,  I  admit,  if  madame  were  really  in- 
different to  your  martyrdom;  but  she  takes  so  much  notice 
of  it,  observes  it  to  such  an  extent,  that  she  compromises 
herself,  and  I  tremble  lest,  on  our  arrival  at  Paris,  Monsieur 
de  Bragelonne  may  not  denounce  both  of  you." 

"For  shame,  De  Wardes,  again  attacking  De  Bragelonne!" 

"Come,  come!  a  truce  to  child's  play,"  replied  the 
count's  evil  genius,  in  an  undertone;  "you  know  as  well  as 
I  do  what  I  mean.  Besides,  you  must  have  observed  how 
the  princess'  glance  softens  as  she  looks  at  you;  you  can 
tell,  by  the  very  inflection  of  her  voice,  what  pleasure  she 
takes  in  listening  to  you,  and  can  feel  how  thoroughly  she 
appreciates  the  verses  you  recite  to  her.  You  cannot  deny, 
too,  that  every  morning  she  tells  you  how  indifferently  she 
slept  the  previous  night." 

"True,  De  Wardes,  quite  true;  but  what  good  is  there  in 
your  telling  me  all  that?" 

"Is  it  not  important  to  know  the  exact  position  of  affairs?" 

"No,  no;  not  when  I  am  a  witness  of  things  which  are 
enough  to  drive  one  mad." 

"Stay,  stay,"  said  De  Wardes;  "look,  she  calls  you — do 
you  understand?  Profit  by  the  occasion,  for  your  pedagogue 
is  not  here." 

TEN    TEARS    LATER.  77 

De  Guiche  could  not  resist,  an  invincible  attraction  drew 
him  toward  the  princess.  De  Wardes  smiled  as  he  saw  him 

"You  are  mistaken,  monsieur,"  said  Eaoul,  suddenly 
stepping  across  the  barrier  against  which  the  previous 
moment  the  two  friends  had  been  leaning,  "the  pedagogue 
is  here,  and  has  overheard  you." 

De  Wardes,  at  the  sound  of  Raoul's  voice,  which  he 
recognized  without  having  occasion  to  look  at  him,  half 
drew  his  sword. 

"Put  up  your  sword,"  said  Eaoul;  "you  know  perfectly 
well  that,  until  our  journey  is  at  an  end,  every  demonstra- 
tion of  that  nature  is  useless.  Why  do  you  distill  into  the 
heart  of  the  man  you  term  your  friend  all  the  bitterness 
which  infpcts  your  own?  As  regards  myself,  you  wish  to 
arouse  a  feeling  of  deep  dislike  against  a  man  of  honor — my 
father's  friend,  and  my  own;  and  as  for  the  count,  you  wish 
him  to  love  one  who  is  destined  for  your  master.  Eeally,  mon- 
sieur, I  should  regard  you  as  a  coward,  and  a  traitor,  too,  if 
I  did  not,  with  greater  justice,  regard  you  as  a  madman." 

"Monsieur,"  exclaimed  De  Wardes,  exasperated,  "I  was 
deceived,  I  find,  in  terming  you  a  pedagogue.  The  tone 
you  assume,  and  the  style  which  is  peculiarly  your  own,  is 
that  of  a  Jesuit,  and  not  of  a  gentleman.  Discontinue,  I 
beg,  v/henever  I  am  present,  this  style  I  complain  of,  and 
the  tone  also.  I  hate  Monsieur  d'Artagnan  because  he  was 
guilty  of  a  cowardly  act  toward  my  father." 

"You  lie,  monsieurl"  said  Eaoul  coolly. 

"You  give  me  the  lie,  monsieur?"  exclaimed  De  Wardes. 

"Why  not,  if  what  you  assert  be  untrue?" 

"You  give  me  the  lie,  and  do  not  draw  your  sword?" 

"I  have  resolved,  monsieur,  not  to  kill  you  until  ma- 
dame  shall  have  been  delivered  up  into  her  husband's 

"Kill  me?  Believe  me,  monsieur,  your  schoolmaster's 
rod  does  not  kill  so  easily." 

"No,"  replied  Eaoul  sternly;  "but  Monsieur  d'Artag- 
nan's  sword  kills;  and  not  only  do  I  possess  his  sword,  but 
he  has  himself  taught  me  how  to  use  it;  and  with  that 
sword,  when  a  befitting  time  arrives,  I  shall  avenge  his 
name — a  name  you  have  so  dishonored." 

"Take  care,  monsieur!"  exclaimed  De  Wardes;  "if  you 
do  not  immediately  give  me  satisfaction  I  will  avail  myself 
of  every  means  to  revenge  myself." 

"Indeed,  monsieur,"  said  Buckingham,  suddenly  appear- 

78  TEN   TEARS    LATER. 

ing  upon  the  scene  of  action,  "that  is  a  threat  which  sounds 
like  assassination,  and  would,  therefore,  ill  become  a  gen- 

"What  did  you  say,  my  lord?"  said  De  Wardes,  turning 
round  toward  him. 

"I  said,  monsieur,  that  the  words  you  have  just  spoken 
are  displeasing  to  my  English  ears." 

"Very  well,  monsieur;  if  what  you  say  is  true,"  exclaimed 
De  Wardes,  thoroughly  incensed,  "I  shall  at  least  find  in 
you  one  who  will  not  escape  me.  Understand  my  words  as 
you  like." 

"I  understand  them  in  the  manner  they  cannot  but  be 
understood,"  replied  Buckingham,  with  that  haughty  tone 
which  characterized  him,  and  which,  even  in  ordinary  con- 
versation, gave  a  tone  of  defiance  to  everything  he  said: 
"Monsieur  de  Bragelonne  is  my  friend;  you  insult  Monsieur 
de  Bragelonne,  and  you  shall  give  me  satisfaction  for  that 

De  Wardes  cast  a  look  upon  De  Bragelonne, who,  faith- 
ful to  the  character  he  had  assumed,  remained  calm  and 
unmoved,  even  after  the  duke's  defiance. 

"It  would  seem  that  I  did  not  insult  Monsieur  de  Brage- 
lonne, since  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne,  who  carries  a  sword 
by  his  side,  does  not  consider  himself  insulted." 

"At  all  events,  you  insult  some  one." 

"Yes,  I  insulted  Monsieur  d'Artagnan,"  resumed  De 
Wardes,  who  had  observed  that  this  was  the  only  means  of 
stinging  Raoul,  so  as  to  awaken  his  anger. 

"That,  then,"  said  Buckingham,  "is  another  matter." 

"Precisely  so,"  said  De  Wardes;  "it  is  the  province  of 
Monsieur  d'Artagnan's  friends  to  defend  him." 

"I  am  entirely  of  your  opinion,"  replied  the  duke,  who 
had  regained  all  his  indifference  of  manner;  "if  Monsieur 
de  Bragelonne  were  offended,  I  could  not  reasonably  be  ex- 
pected to  espouse  his  quarrel,  since  he  is  himself  here;  but 
when  you  say  that  it  is  a  quarrel  of  Monsieur  d'Artag- 
nan  " 

"You  will,  of  course,  leave  me  to  deal  with  the  matter," 
said  De  Wardes. 

"Nay,  the  very  contrary,  for  I  draw  my  sword,"  said 
Buckingham,  unsheathing  it  as  he  spoke;  "for  if  Monsieur 
d'Artagnan  injured  your  father,  he  rendered,  or,  at  least, 
did  all  that  he  could  to  render,  a  great  service  to  mine." 

De  Wardes  seemed  thundertsruck. 

"Monsieur    d'Artagnan,"   continued    Buckingham,    "is 

TEN    YEARS   LATER.  79 

the  bravest  gentleman  I  know.  I  shall  be  delighted,  as  I 
owe  him  many  jiersonal  obligations,  to  settle  them  with 
you,  by  crossing  ray  sword  with  yours." 

At  the  same  moment  liuckingham  drew  his  sword  grace- 
fully from  its  scabbard,  saluted  Raoul,  and  put  himself  on 

De  Wardes  advanced  a  step  to  meet  him. 

"Stay,  gentlemen,"  said  Raoul,  advancing  toward  them 
and  placing  his  own  sword  between  the  combatants,  "the 
affair  is  hardly  worth  the  trouble  of  blood  being  shed  almost 
in  the  presence  of  the  princess.  Monsieur  de  Wardes 
speaks  ill  of  Monsieur  d'Artagnan,  with  whom  he  is  not 
even  acquainted." 

"What,  monsieur,"  said  De  Wardes,  setting  his  teeth 
hard  together,  and  resting  the  point  of  his  sword  on  the  toe 
of  his  boot,  "do  you  assert  that  I  do  not  know  Monsieur 

"Certainly  not;  you  do  not  know  him,"  replied  Raoul 
coldly,  "and  you  are  even  not  aware  where  he  is  to  be 

"Not  know  where  he  is?" 

"Such  must  be  the  case,  since  you  fix  your  quarrel  with 
him  upon  strangers,  instead  of  seeking  Monsieur  d'Artag- 
nan where  he  is  to  be  found." 

De  Wardes  turned  pale. 

"Well,  monsieur,"  continued  Eaoul,  "I  will  tell  you 
where  Monsieur  d'Artagnan  is;  he  is  now  in  Paris;  when 
on  duty  he  is  to  be  met  with  at  the  Louvre — when  not  so, 
in  the  Rue  des  Lombards.  Monsieur  d'Artagnan  can  be 
easily  discovered  at  either  of  those  two  places.  Having, 
therefore,  as  you  assert,  so  many  causes  of  complaint  against 
him,  you  do  not  show  your  courage  in  not  seeking  him  out, 
to  afford  him  an  opportunity  of  giving  you  that  satisfac- 
tion you  seem  to  ask  of  every  one  but  of  himself." 

De  Wardes  passed  his  hand  across  his  forehead,  which 
was  covered  with  perspiration. 

"For  shame.  Monsieur  de  Wardes!  so  quarrelsome  a  dis- 
position is  hardly  becoming  after  the  publication  of  the 
edicts  against  duels.  Pray  think  of  that;  the  king  will  be 
incensed  at  our  disobedience,  particularly  at  such  a  time; 
and  his  majesty  will  be  in  the  right." 

"Mere  excuses,"  murmured  De  Wardes;  "mere pretexts." 

"Really,  my  dear  Monsieur  de  Wardes,"  resumed  Raoul, 
"such  remarks  are  the  merest  idle  talk;  you  know  very  well 
that   the   Duke   of   Buckingham   is  a  man  of  undoubted 


courage,  who  has  already  fought  ten  duels,  and  will  proba- 
bly fight  eleven.  His  name  alone  is  significant  enough.  As 
far  as  I  am  concerned,  you  are  well  aware  that  I  can  fight 
also.  I  fought  at  Sens,  at  Bleneau,  at  the  Dunes  in  front 
of  the  artillery,  a  hundred  paces  in  front  of  the  line,  while 
you — 1  say  this  parenthetically — were  a  hundred  paces  be- 
hind it.  True  it  is  that  on  that  occasion  there  were  by  far 
too  great  a  concourse  of  persons  present  for  your  courage 
to  be  observed,  and  on  that  account,  perhaps,  you  did  not 
reveal  it;  while  here,  it  would  be  a  display,  and  would  ex- 
cite re>nark — you  wish  that  others  should  talk  about  you, 
in  what  manner  you  do  not  care.  Do  not  depend  upon 
me,  Monsieur  de  Wardes,  to  assist  you  in  your  designs,  for 
I  shall  certainly  not  afford  you  that  pleasure." 

"Sensibly  observed,"  said  Buckingham,  putting  up  his 
sword,  "and  I  ask  your  forgiveness,  Monsieur  de  Brage- 
lonne,  for  having  allowed  myself  to  yield  to  a  first  impulse." 

De  Wardes,  however,  on  the  contrary,  perfectly  furious, 
bounded  forward  and  raised  his  sword  threateningly  against 
Eaoul,  who  had  scarcely  time  to  put  himself  in  a  posture  of 

"Take  care,  monsieur,"  said  Bragelonne  tr-anquilly,  "or 
you  will  put  out  one  of  my  eyes." 

"You  will  not  fight,  then?"  said  De  Wardes. 

"Not  at  this  moment;  but  this  I  promise  to  do,  imme- 
diately on  our  arrival  at  Paris;  I  will  conduct  you  to  Mon- 
sieur d'Artagnan,  to  whom  you  shall  detail  all  the  causes  of 
complaint  you  have  against  him.  Monsieur  d'Artagnan 
will  solicit  the  king's  permission  to  measure  swords  with 
you.  The  king  will  yield  his  consent,  and  when  you  shall 
have  received  the  sword-thrust  in  due  course,  you  will  con- 
sider, in  a  calmer  frame  of  mind,  the  precepts  of  the  Gospel 
which  enjoin  forgetfulness  of  injuries." 

"Ah!"  exclai'med  De  Wardes,  furious  at  this  imperturba- 
ble coolness,  "one  can  clearly  see  you  are  half  a  bastard. 
Monsieur  de  Bragelonne." 

Eaoul  became  as  pale  as  death;  his  eyes  flashed  like  light- 
ning, and  made  De  Wardes  fall  back.  Buckingham  also, 
who  had  perceived  their  expression,  threw  himself  between 
the  two  adversaries,  whom  he  had  expected  to  see  precipi- 
tate themselves  on  each  other.  De  Wardes  had  reserved 
this  injury  for  the  last;  he  clasped  his  sword  tight  in  his 
hand,  and  awaited  the  encounter. 

"You  are  right,  monsieur,"  said  Eaoul,  mastering  his 
emotion,  "I   am  only  acquainted  with  my  father's  name; 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  81 

but  I  know  too  well  that  the  Comte  de  la  Fere  is  too  up- 
right and  honorable  a  man  to  allow  me  to  fear  for  a  single 
moment  that  there  is,  as  you  seem  to  say,  any  stain  upon 
my  birth.  My  ignorance,  therefore,  of  my  mother's  name 
is  a  misfortune  for  me,  and  not  a  reproach.  You  are  de- 
ficient in  loyalty  of  conduct;  you  are  Avanting  in  courtesy 
in  reproaching  me  with  misfortune.  It  matters  little,  how- 
ever, the  insult  has  been  given,  and  I  consider  myself  in- 
sulted accordingly.  It  is  quite  understood,  then,  that  after 
you  shall  have  received  satisfaction  from  Monsieur  d'Ar- 
tagnan,  you  will  settle  your  quarrel  with  me." 

"I  admire  your  prudence,  monsieur,"  replied  De  Wardes, 
with  a  bitter  smile;  "a  little  while  ago  you  promised  me  a 
sword-thrust  from  Monsieur  d'Artagnan,  and  now,  after  I 
shall  have  received  his,  you  offer  me  one  from  yourself." 

"Do  not  disturb  yourself,"  replied  Eaoul,  with  concen- 
trated anger;  "in  all  affairs  of  that  nature  Monsieur  d'Ar- 
tagnan is  exceedingly  skillful,  and  I  will  beg  him  as  a  favor 
to  treat  you  as  he  did  your  father;  in  other  words,  to  spare 
your  life  at  least,  so  as  to  leave  me  the  pleasure,  after  your 
recovery,  of  killing  you  outright;  for  you  have  a  bad  heart. 
Monsieur  de  Wardes,  and  in  very  truth,  too  many  precau- 
tions cannot  be  taken  against  you." 

"I  shall  take  my  precautions  against  you,"  said  De 
Wardes;  "be  assured  of  it." 

"Allow  me,  monsieur,"  said  Buckingham,  "to  translate 
your  remark  by  a  piece  of  advice  I  am  about  to  give  Mon- 
sieur de  Bragelonne;  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne,  wear  a 

De  Wardes  clinched  his  hands. 

"Ah!"  said  he,  "you  two  gentlemen  intend  to  wait  until 
you  have  taken  that  precaution  before  you  measure  your 
swords  against  mine." 

"Very  well,  monsieur,"  said  Eaoul,  "since  you  positively 
will  have  it  so;  let  us  settle  the  affair  now." 

And  drawing  his  sword,  he  advanced  toward  De  Wardes. 

"What  are  you  going  to  do?"  said  Buckingham. 

"Be  easy,"  said  Raoul;  "it  will  not  be  very  long." 

De  Wardes  placed  himself  on  his  guard;  their  swords 
crossed.  De  Wardes  flew  upon  Eaoul  with  such  impetuosity 
that  at  the  first  clashing  of  the  steel  blades  Buckingham 
clearly  saw  that  Eaoul  was  only  trifling  with  his  adver- 
sary. Buckingham  stepped  aside,  and  watched  the  strug- 
gle. Eaoul  was  as  calm  as  if  he  were  handling  a  foil, 
instead  of  a  sword;  having  retreated  a  step,  he  parried  three 


or  four  fierce  thrusts  which  De  Wardes  made  at  him,  caught 
the  sword  of  the  latter  within  his  own,  sending  it  flying 
twenty  paces  the  other  side  of  the  barrier.  Then,  a.s  De 
Wardes  stood  disarmed  and  astounded  at  his  defeat,  Eaoul 
sheathed  his  sword,  seized  him  by  the  collar  and  the  waist- 
band, and  hurled  him  also  to  the  other  end  of  the  barrier, 
trembling  and  mad  with  rage. 

"We  shall  meet  again,"  murmured  De  Wardes,  rising 
from  the  ground  and  picking  up  his  sword. 

"I  have  done  nothing  for  the  last  hour,"  said  Eaoul, 
"but  say  the  same  thing." 

Then,  turning  toward  the  duke,  he  said: 

"I  entreat  you  to  be  silent  about  this  affair;  I  am  ashamed 
to  have  gone  so  far,  but  my  anger  carried  me  away,  and  I 
ask  your  forgiveness  for  it;  forget  it,  too." 

"Dear  viscount,"  said  the  duke,  pressing  within  his  own 
the  vigorous  and  valiant  hand  of  his  companion,  "allow  me, 
on  the  contrary,  to  remember  it,  and  to  look  after  your 
safety;  that  man  is  dangerous;  he  will  kill  you." 

"My  father,"  replied  Eaoul,  "lived  for  twenty  years 
under  the  menace  of  a  much  more  formidable  enemy,  and 
he  still  lives." 

"Your  father  had  good  friends,  viscount." 

"Yes,"  sighed  Eaoul,  "such  friends,  indeed,  that  none 
are  now  left  like  them." 

"Do  not  say  that,  I  beg,  at  the  very  moment  I  offer  you 
my  friendship;"  and  Buckingham  opened  his  arms  to  em- 
brace Eaoul,  who  delightedly  received  the  proffered  alliance. 
"In  my  family,"  added  Buckingham,  "you  are  aware.  Mon- 
sieur de  Bragelonne,  that  we  die  to  save  those  we  love." 

"I  know  it  well,  duke,"  replied  Eaoul. 



Nothing  further  interrupted  the  journey.  Under  a  pre- 
text which  was  little  remarked,  M.  de  Wardes  went  forward  in 
advance  of  the  others.  He  took  Manicamp  with  him,  for  his 
equable  and  dreamy  disposition  acted  as  a  counterpoise  to 
his  own.  It  is  a  subject  of  remark,  that  quarrelsome  and 
restless  characters  invariably  seek  the  companionship  of 
gentle,  timorous  dispositions,  as  if  the  former  sought,  in 

TEN"    YEARS   LATER.  83 

the  contrast,  a  repose  for  their  own  ill-humor,  and  the  lat- 
ter a  protection  against  their  own  weakness.  Buckingham 
and  Bragelonne,  admitting  De  Guiche  into  their  friendship, 
joined,  in  concert  with  him,  the  praises  of  the  princess  dur- 
ing the  whole  of  the  journey.  Bragelonne  had,  hoAvever, 
insisted  that  their  three  voices  should  be  in  concert,  instead 
of  singing  in  solo  parts,  as  De  Guiche  and  his  rival  seemed 
to  have  acquired  a  dangerous  habit  of  doing.  This  style  of 
harmony  pleased  the  queen-mother  exceedingly,  but  it  was 
not,  perhaps,  so  agreeable  to  the  young  princess,  who  was 
an  incarnation  of  coquetry,  and  who,  without  any  fear  as 
far  as  her  own  voice  was  concerned,  sought  opportunities  of 
so  perilously  distinguishing  herself.  She  possessed  one  of 
those  fearless  and  incautious  disj^ositions  which  find  gratifi- 
cation in  an  excess  of  sensitiveness  of  feeling,  and  for  whom, 
also,  danger  has  a  certain  fascination.  And  so  her  glances, 
her  smiles,  her  toilet,  an  inexhaustible  armory  of  weapons 
of  oifense,  were  showered  down  upon  the  three  young  men 
with  overwhelming  force;  and  from  her  well-stored  arsenal 
issued  glances,  kindly  recognitions,  and  a  thousand  other 
little  charming  attentions  which  were  intended  to  strike  at 
long  range  the  gentlemen  who  formed  the  escort,  the 
townspeople,  the  officers  of  the  different  cities  she  passed 
through,  pages,  populace,  and  servants;  it  was  wholesale 
slaughter,  a  general  devastation.  By  the  time  madame 
arrived  at  Paris,  she  had  reduced  to  slavery  about  a  hundred 
thousand  lovers,  and  brought  in  her  train  to  Paris  half  a 
dozen  men  who  were  almost  mad  about  her,  and  two  who 
were  quite  out  of  their  minds.  Kaoul  was  the  only  person 
who  divined  the  power  of  this  woman's  attraction,  and,  as 
his  heart  was  already  engaged,  he  arrived  in  the  capital  full 
of  indifference  and  distrust.  Occasionally,  during  the 
journey,  he  conversed  with  the  Queen  of  England  respect- 
ing the  power  of  fascination  which  madame  possessed,  and 
the  mother,  whom  so  many  misfortunes  and  deceptions  had 
taught  experience,  replied: 

"Henrietta  Avas  sure  to  be  illustrious  in  one  way  or  an- 
other, whether  born  in  a  palace  or  born  in  obscurity;  for 
she  is  a  woman  of  great  imagination,  capricious,  and  self- 

De  Wardes  and  Manicamp,  in  their  character  of  couriers, 
had  announced  the  princess'  arrival.  The  procession  was 
met  at  Nanterre  by  a  brilliant  escort  of  cavaliers  and  car- 
riages. It  was  Monsieur  himself,  who,  followed  by  the 
Chevalier  de  Lorraine  and  by  his  favorites,  the  latter  being 

84  TEN"    YEAES    LATER. 

themselves  followed  by  a  portion  of  the  king's  military 
household,  had  arrived  to  meet  his  aflfianced  bride.  At  St. 
Germain  the  princess  and  her  mother  had  changed  their 
heavy  traveling-carriage,  somewhat  impaired  by  the  jour- 
ney, for  a  light,  richly  decorated  chariot  drawn  by  six 
horses  with  white-and-gold  harness.  Seated  in  this  open 
carriage,  as  though  upon  a  throne,  and  beneath  a  parasol  of 
embroidered  sillc,  fringed  with  feathers,  sat  the  young  and 
lovely  princess,  on  whose  beaming  face  were  reflected  the 
softened  rose-tints  which  suited  her  delicate  skin  to  perfec- 
tion. Monsieur,  on  reaching  the  carriage,  was  struck  by 
her  beauty;  he  showed  his  admiration  in  so  marked  a  man- 
ner that  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine  shrugged  his  shoulders 
as  he  listened  to  his  compliments,  while  Buckingham  and 
De  Guiche  were  almost  heart-broken.  After  the  usual 
courtesies  had  been  rendered,  and  the  ceremony  completed, 
the  procession  slowly  resumed  the  road  to  Paris.  The  pre- 
sentations had  been  carelessly  made,  and  Buckingham,  with 
the  rest  of  the  English  gentlemen,  had  been  introduced  to 
Monsieur,  from  whom  they  had  received  but  a  very  indiffer- 
ent attention.  But,  during  their  progress,  as  he  observed 
that  the  duke  devoted  himself  with  his  accustomed  earnest- 
ness to  the  carriage  door,  he  asked  the  Chevalier  de  Lor- 
raine, his  inseparable  companion: 

"Who  is  that  cavalier?" 

"He  was  presented  to  your  highness  a  short  time  since; 
it  is  the  handsome  Duke  of  Buckingham." 

"Yes,  yes,  I  remember." 

"Madame's  knight,"  added  the  favorite,  with  an  inflec- 
tion of  the  voice  which  envious  minds  can  alone  give  to  the 
simplest  phrases. 

"What  do  you  say?"  replied  the  prince. 

"I  said  'madame's  knight.'  " 

"Has  she  a  recognized  knight,  then?" 

"One  would  think  you  can  judge  of  that  for  yourself; 
look,  only,  how  they  are  laughing  and  flirting.  AH  three 
of  them." 

"What  do  you  mean  by  all  three?" 

"Do  you  not  see  that  De  Guiche  is  one  of  the  party?" 

"Yes,  I  see.     But  what  does  that  prove?" 

"That  madame  has  two  admirers  instead  of  one." 

"You  poison  everything,  viper!" 

"I  poison  nothing.  Ah!  your  royal  highness'  mind  is 
very  perverted.  The  honors  of  the  kingdom  of  France  are 
being  paid  to  your  wife,  and  you  are  not  satisfied." 

TEN"   YEARS   LATER.  85 

The  Dnke  of  Orleans  dreaded  the  satirical  humor  of  the 
Chevalier  de  Lorraine  whenever  he  found  it  reached  a  cer- 
tain degree  of  bitterness,  and  he  changed  the  conversation 

"The  princess  is  pretty,"  said  he  very  negligently,  as  if 
he  were  speaking  of  a  stranger. 

"Yes,"  replied  the  chevalier,  in  the  same  tone. 

"You  say  'yes'  like  a  'no.'  She  has  very  beautiful  black 

"Yes,  but  small." 

"That  is  so,  but  they  are  brilliant.  She  has  a  good 

"Her  figure  is  a  little  spoiled,  my  lord." 

"I  do  not  deny  it.     She  has  a  noble  appearance." 

"Yes,  but  her  face  is  thin." 

"I  thought  her  teeth  beautiful." 

"They  can  easily  be  seen,  for  her  mouth  is  large  enough. 
Decidedly,  I  was  wrong,  my  lord;  you  are  certainly  hand- 
somer than  your  v/ife." 

"But  do  you  think  me  as  handsome  as  Buckingham?" 

"Certainly;  and  he  thinks  so,  too;  for,  look,  my  lord,  he 
is  redoubling  his  attentions  to  madame  to  prevent  your 
effacing  the  impression  he  has  made." 

Monsieur  made  a  movement  of  impatience,  but  as  he 
noticed  a  smile  of  triumph  pass  across  the  chevalier's  lips, 
he  drew  up  his  horse  to  a  foot-paee. 

"Why,"  said  he,  "should  I  occupy  myself  any  longer 
about  my  cousin?  Do  I  not  already  know  her?  Were  we 
not  brought  up  together?  Did  I  not  see  her  at  the  Louvre 
when  she  was  quite  a  child?" 

"A  great  change  has  taken  place  in  her  since  then,  prince. 
At  the  period  you  allude  to  she  was  somewhat  less  brilliant, 
and  somewhat  less  proud,  too.  One  evening,  particularly, 
you  may  remember,  my  lord,  the  king  refused  to  dance  with 
her,  because  he  thought  her  plain  and  badly  dressed." 

These  words  made  the  Duke  of  Orleans  frown.  It  was  by 
no  means  flattering  for  him  to  marry  a  princess  of  whom, 
when  young,  the  king  had  not  thought  much.  He  might 
probably  have  replied,  but  at  this  moment  De  Guiche 
quitted  the  carriage  to  join  the  prince.  He  had  remarked 
the  prince  and  the  chevalier  together,  and  full  of  anxious 
attention;  he  seemed  to  try  and  guess  the  nature  of  the 
remarks  which  they  had  just  exchanged.  The  chevalier, 
whether  he  had  fome  treacherous  object  in  view,  or  from 
imprudence,  did  not  take  the  trouble  to  dissimulate. 

86  TEN    TEARS    LATER. 

''Count,"  he  said,  "you're  a  man  of  excellent  taste." 

"Thank  you  for  the  compliment,"  replied  De  Guiche; 
"but  why  do  you  say  that?" 

"Well,  I  appeal  to  his  highness." 

"No  doubt  of  it,"  said  Monsieur;  "and  Guiche  knows 
perfectly  well  that  I  regard  him  as  a  most  finished  cavalier." 

"Well,  since  that  is  decided,  I  resume.  You  nave  been 
in  the  princess'  society,  count,  for  the  last  eight  days,  have 
you  not?" 

"Yes,"  replied  De  Guiche,  coloring  in  spite  of  himself. 

"Well,  then,  tell  us  frankly,  what  do  you  think  of  her 
personal  appearance?" 

"Of  her  personal  appearance?"  returned  De  Guiche, 

"Yes;  of  her  appearance,  of  her  mind,  of  herself,  in 

Astounded  by  this  question,  De  Guiche  hesitated  an- 

"Come,  come,  De  Guiche,"  resumed  the  chevalier  laugh- 
ingly, "tell  us  your  opinion  frankly;  the  prince  commands 

"Yes,  yes,"  said  the  prince;  "be  frank." 

De  Guiche  stammered  out  a  few  unintelligible  words. 

"lam  perfectly  well  aware,"  returned  Monsieur,  "that 
the  subject  is  a  delicate  one,  but  you  know  you  can  tell  me 
everything.     What  do  you  think  of  her?" 

In  order  to  avoid  betraying  his  real  thoughts,  De  Guiche 
had  recourse  to  the  only  defense  which  a  man  taken  by  sur- 
prise really  has,  and  accordingly  told  an  untruth. 

"I  do  not  find  madame,"  he  said,  "either  good  or  bad 
looking,  yet  rather  good  than  bad  looking." 

"What!  count,"  exclaimed  the  chevalier,  "you  who  went 
into  such  ecstasies  and  uttered  so  many  exclamations  at  the 
sight  of  her  portrait." 

De  Guiche  colored  violently.  Very  fortunately,  his 
horse,  which  was  slightly  restive,  enabled  him  by  a  sudden 
plunge  to  conceal  his  agitation. 

"What  portrait?"  he  murmured,  joining  them  again. 

The  chevalier  had  not  taken  his  eyes  off  him. 

"Yes,  the  portrait.  Was  not  the  miniature  a  good  like- 

"I  do  not  remember.  I  have  forgotten  the  portrait;  it 
has  quite  escaped  my  recollection." 

"And  yet  it  made  a  very  marked  impression  upon  you," 
said  the  chevalier. 

TEN   YEAES    LATER.  87 

"That  is  not  unlikely." 

"Is  she  clever,  at  all  events?"  inquired  the  duke, 

"I  believe  so,  my  lord." 

"Is  Monsieur  de  Buckingham  so,  too?"  said  the  chevalier. 

"I  do  not  know." 

"My  own  opinion  is,  that  he  must  be,"  replied  the  cheva- 
lier; "for  he  makes  madame  laugh,  and  she  seems  to  take 
no  little  pleasure  in  his  society,  which  never  happens  to  a 
clever  woman  when  in  the  company  of  a  simpleton." 

"Of  course,  then,  he  must  be  clever,"  said  De  Guiche 

At  this  moment  Eaoul  opportunely  arrived,  seeing  how 
De  Guiche  was  pressed  by  his  dangerous  questioner,  to 
whom  he  addressed  a  remark,  and  so  changed  the  conversa- 
tion.    The  entree  was  brilliant  and  Joyous. 

The  king,  in  honor  of  his  brother,  had  directed  that  the 
festivities  should  be  on  a  scale  of  the  greatest  magnificence. 
Madame  and  her  mother  alighted  at  the  Louvre,  where, 
during  their  exile,  they  had  so  gloomily  submitted  to 
obscurity,  misery,  and  privations  of  every  description. 
That  palace,  which  had  been  so  inhospitable  a  residence  for 
the  unhappy  daughter  of  Henry  IV.,  the  naked  walls,  the 
sunken  floorings,  the  ceilings  covered  with  cowbebs,  the 
vast  but  brokan  chimney-places,  the  cold  hearths  on  which 
the  charity  extended  to  them  by  parliament  had  hardly 
permitted  a  fire  to  glow,  was  completely  altered  in  appear- 
ance. The  richest  hangings  and  the  thickest  carpets,  glis- 
tening flagstones,  and  pictures,  with  their  richly  gilded 
frames;  in  every  direction  could  be  seen  candelabras,  mir- 
rors, and  furniture  and  fittings  of  the  most  sumptuous 
character;  in  every  direction  also  were  guards  of  the  proud- 
est military  bearing  with  floating  plumes,  crowds  of  attend- 
ants and  courtiers  in  the  antechambers  and  upon  the  stair- 
cases. In  the  courtyards,  where  the  grass  had  formerly, 
been  accustomed  to  grow,  as  if  the  ungrateful  Mazarin  had 
thought  it  a  good  idea  to  let  the  Parisians  perceive  that 
solitude  and  disorder  were,  with  misery  and  despair,  the 
proper  accompaniments  of  a  fallen  monarchy;  the  immense 
courtyards,  formerly  silent  and  desolate,  were  now  thronged 
with  courtiers  whose  horses  were  pacing  and  prancing  to  and 
fro.  The  carriages  were  filled  with  young  and  beautiful 
women,  who  awaited  the  opjoortunity  of  saluting,  as  she 
passed,  the  daughter  of  that  daughter  of  France,  who,  dur- 
ing her  widowhood  and  exile,  had  sometimes  gone  without 
wood  for  her  fire,  or  bread  for  her  table,  whom  the  meanest 

88  TEX   YEARS    LATEE. 

attendants  at  the  cluUeau  had  treated  with  indifference  and 
contempt.  And  so  Mme.  Henrietta  once  more  returned  to 
the  Louvre,  with  her  heart  more  swollen  with  grief  and 
bitter  recollections  than  her  daughter,  whose  disposition 
was  fickle  and  forgetful,  returned  to  it  with  triumph  and 
delight.  She  knew  but  too  well  that  present  brilliant  recep- 
tion was  paid  to  the  happy  mother  of  a  king  restored  to  his 
throne,  and  that  throne  second  to  none  in  Europe,  while 
the  worse  than  indifferent  reception  she  had  before  met 
with  was  paid  to  her,  the  daughter  of  Henry  IV.,  as  a 
punishment  for  having  been  unhappy.  After  the  princesses 
had  been  installed  in  their  apartments  and  had  rested  them- 
selves, the  gentlemen  who  had  formed  their  escort  having, 
in  like  manner,  recovered  from  their  fatigue,  they  resumed 
their  accustomed  habits  and  occupations.  Raoul  began  by 
setting  off  to  see  his  father,  who  had  left  for  Blois.  He 
then  tried  to  see  M.  d'Artagnan,  who,  however,  being  en- 
gaged in  the  organization  of  a  military  household  for  the 
king,  could  not  be  found  anywhere.  Bragelonne  next 
sought  out  De  Guiche,  but  the  comte  was  occupied  in  a 
long  conference  with  his  tailors  and  with  Manicamp,  which 
consumed  his  whole  time.  With  the  Duke  of  Buckingham 
he  fared  still  worse,  for  the  duke  was  purchasing  horses 
after  horses,  diamonds  upon  diamonds.  He  monopolized 
every  embroiderer,  jeweler,  and  tailor  that  Paris  could  boast 
of.  Between  De  Guiche  and  himself  a  vigorous  contest 
ensued,  invariably  a  most  courteous  one,  in  which,  in  order 
to  insure  success,  the  duke  was  ready  to  spend  a  million; 
while  the  Marechal  de  Grammont  had  only  allowed  his  son 
sixty  thousand  francs.  So  Buckingham  laughed  and  spent 
his  money.  Guiche  groaned  in  despair,  and  would  have 
shown  it  more  violently,  had  it  not  been  for  the  advice  De 
Bragelonne  gave  him. 

"A  million!"  repeated  De  Guiche  daily;  ''I must  submit. 
Why  will  not  the  marechal  advance  me  a  portion  of  my 

"Because  you  will  throw  it  away,"  said  Eaoul. 

"What  can  that  matter  to  him?  If  I  am  to  die  of  it,  I 
shall  die  of  it,  and  then  I  shall  need  nothing  further." 

"But  what  need  is  there  to  die?"  said  Raoul. 

"I  do  not  wish  to  be  conquered  in  elegance  by  an  English- 

"My  dear  comte,"  said  Manicamp,  "elegance  is  not  a 
costly  commodity,  it  is  only  a  very  difficult  one." 

"Yes,  but  difficult  things  cost  a  good  deal  of  money,  and 
I  have  only  got  sixty  thousand  francs." 

TEN"   TEAKS    LATEK.  89 

**A  very  embarrassing  state  of  tilings,  truly,"  said  De 
Wardes;  "spend  as  much  as  Buckingham;  there  is  only 
nine  hundred  and  forty  thousand  francs  difference." 

"Where  am  I  to  find  them?" 

"Get  into  debt." 

"I  am  so  already." 

"A  greater  reason  for  getting  further." 

Advice  like  this  resulted  in  De  Guiclie  becoming  excited 
to  such  an  extent  that  he  committed  extravagances  where 
Buckingham  only  incurred  expenses.  The  rumor  of  this 
extravagant  profuseness  delighted  the  hearts  of  all  the  shop- 
keepers in  Paris;  from  the  hotel  of  the  Duke  of  Bucking- 
ham to  that  of  the  Com.te  de  Grammont  nothing  but  won- 
ders was  dreamed  of.  While  all  this  was  going  on  madame 
was  resting  herself,  and  Bragelonne  was  engaged  in  writing 
to  Mile,  de  la  Valliere.  He  had  already  dispatched  four 
letters,  and  not  an  answer  to  any  one  of  them  had  been  re- 
ceived, when,  on  the  very  morning  fixed  for  the  marriage 
ceremony,  which  was  to  take  place  in  the  chapel  at  the 
Palais  Royal,  Eaoul,  who  was  dressing,  heard  his  valet  an- 
nounce M.  de  Malicorne. 

"What  can  this  Malicorne  want  with  me?"  thought 
Raoul;  and  then  said  to  his  valet,  "Let  him  wait." 

"It  is  a  gentleman  from  Blois,"  said  the  valet. 

"Admit  him  at  once,"  said  Eaoul  eagerly. 

Malicorne  entered  as  brilliant  as  a  star,  and  wearing  a 
superb  sword  at  his  side.  After  having  saluted  Eaoul  most 
gracefully,  he  said: 

"Monsieur  de  Bragelonne,  I  am  the  bearer  of  a  thousand 
compliments  from  a  lady  to  you." 

Eaoul  colored. 

"From  a  lady,"  said  he — "from  a  lady  of  Blois?" 

"Yes,  monsieur;  from  Mademoiselle  de  Montalais." 

"Thank  you,  monsieur;  I  recollect  you  now,"  said  Eaoul. 
*'And  what  does  Mademoiselle  de  Montalais  require  of  me?" 

Malicorne  drew  four  letters  from  his  pocket,  which  he 
offered  to  Eaoul. 

"My  own  letters!  is  it  possible?"  he  said,  turning  pale; 
"my  letters,  and  the  seals  unbroken?" 

"Monsieur,  your  letters  did  not  find,  at  Blois,  the  person 
to  whom  they  were  addressed,  and  so  they  are  now  returned 
to  you." 

"Mademoiselle  de  la  Yalliere  has  left  Blois,  then?"  ex- 
claimed Eaoul. 

"Eight  days  ago." 


"Where  is  she,  then?" 

''At  Paris." 

"How  was  it  known  that  these  letters  were  from  me?^* 

"Madmoiselle  de  Montalais  recognized  your  handwriting 
and  your  seal,"  said  Malicorne. 

Kaoul  colored  and  smiled. 

"Mademoiselle  de  Montalais  is  exceedingly  amiable/'  he 
said;  "she  is  always  kind  and  charming." 

"Always,  monsieur." 

"Surely  she  could  give  me  some  precise  information  about 
Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere.  I  could  never  find  her  in  this 
immense  city." 

Malicorne  drew  another  packet  from  his  pocket. 

"You  may  possibly  find  in  this  letter  what  you  are 
anxious  to  learn." 

Raoul  hurriedly  broke  the  seal.  The  writing  was  that  of 
Mile.  Aure,  and  inclosed  were  these  words: 

"Paris,  Palais  Royal.     The  day  of  the  nuptial  blessing." 

"What  does  this  mean?"  inquired  Eaoul  of  Malicorne; 
"you  probably  know." 

"I  do,  monsieur." 

"For  pity's  sake,  tell  me,  then!" 

"Impossible,  monsieur." 

"Why  so?" 

"Because  Mademoiselle  Aure  has  forbidden  me  to  do  so." 

Eaoul  looked  at  his  strange  companion,  and  remained 

"At  least,  tell  me  whether  it  is  fortunate  or  unfortunate." 

"That  you  will  see." 

"You  are  very  severe  in  your  reservations." 

"Will  you  grant  me  a  favor,  monsieur?"  said  Malicorne. 

"In  exchange  for  that  you  refuse  me?" 


"What  is  it?" 

"I  have  the  greatest  desire  to  see  the  ceremony,  and  I 
have  no  ticket  to  admit  me,  in  spite  of  all  the  steps!  have 
taken  to  secure  one.     Could  you  get  me  admitted?" 


"Do  me  this  kindness,  then,  I  entreat." 

"Most  willingly,  monsieur;  come  with  me." 

"I  am  exceedingly  indebted  to  you,  monsieur,"  said 

"I  thought  you  were  a  friend  of  Monsieur  de  Manicamp?" 

TEN    YEAES    LATER.  91 

"I  am,  monsieur;  but  this  morning  I  was  with  him  as  he 
was  dressing,  and  I  let  a  bottle  of  blacking  fall  over 
his  new  dress,  and  he  flew  at  me  with  his  sword  in  his  hand, 
so  that  I  was  obliged  to  make  my  escape.  That  is  the 
reason  I  could  not  ask  him  for  a  ticket;  he  would  have 
killed  me." 

"I  can  believe  it,"  said  Kaoul.  "I  know  Manicamp  is 
capable  of  killing  a  man  who  has  been  unfortunate  enough 
to  commit  the  crime  you  have  to  reproach  yourself  with  in 
his  eyes,  but  I  will  repair  the  mischief  as  far  as  you  are  con- 
cerned; I  will  but  fasten  my  cloak,  and  shall  then  be  ready 
to  serve  you,  not  only  as  a  guide,  but  as  an  introducer  also." 



Madame's  marriage  was  celebrated  in  the  chapel  of  the 
Palais  Royal,  in  the  presence  of  a  crowd  of  courtiers,  who 
had  been  most  scrupulously  selected.  However,  notwith- 
standing the  marked  favor  which  an  invitation  indicated, 
Kaoul,  faithful  to  his  promise  to  Malicorne,  who  was  so 
anxious  to  witness  the  ceremony,  obtained  admission  for 
him.  ,  After  he  had  fulfilled  this  engagement,  Kaoul  ap- 
proached De  Guiche,  who,  as  if  in  contrast  with  his  magnifi- 
cent costume,  exhibited  a  countenance  so  utterly  cast  down 
by  intense  grief  that  the  Duke  of  Buckingham  was  the 
only  one  present  who  could  contend  with  him  as  far  as 
extreme  pallor  and  dejection  were  concerned. 

"Take  care,  count,"  said  Kaoul,  approaching  his  friend, 
and  preparing  to  support  him  at  the  moment  the  archbishop 
blessed  the  married  couple.  In  fact,  the  Prince  of  Conde 
was  attentively  scrutinizing  these  two  images  of  desolation, 
standing  like  caryatides  at  either  side  of  the  nave  of  the 
church.  The  count,  consequently,  kept  a  more  careful 
watch  over  himself. 

At  the  termination  of  the  ceremony  the  king  and  queen 
passed  onward  toward  the  grand  reception-room,  where 
madame  and  her  suite  were  to  be  presented  to  them.  It 
was  remarked  that  the  king,  who  had  seemed  more  than 
surprised  at  his  sister-in-law's  appearance,  was  most  flatter- 
ing in  his  compliments  to  her.  Again,  it  was  remarked 
that  the  queen-mother,  fixing  a  long  and  thoughtful  gaze 
upon  Buckingham,  leaned  toward  Mme.  de   Mottcville  as 


though  to  ask  her,  "Do  you  not  see  how  much  he  resembles 
his  father?"  and  finally  it  was  remarked  that  Monsieur 
watched  everybody,  and  seemed  very  discontented.  After 
the  reception  of  the  princess  and  ambassadors.  Monsieur 
solicited  the  king's  permission  to  present  to  him  as  well  as 
to  madame  the  persons  belonging  to  their  new  household. 

"Are  you  aware,  vicomte,"  inquired  the  Prince  de  Conde, 
of  Kaoul,  "whether  the  household  has  been  selected  by  a 
person  of  taste,  and  whether  there  are  any  faces  worth 
looking  at?" 

"I  have  not  the  slightest  idea,  monseigneur,"  replied 

"You  affect  ignorance,  surely." 

"In  what  way,  monseigneur?" 

"You  are  a  friend  of  De  Guiche,  who  is  one  of  the  friends 
of  the  prince." 

"That  may  be  so,  monseigneur;  but  the  matter  having 
no  interest  whatever  for  me,  I-never  questioned  De  Guiche 
on  the  subject;  and  De  Guiche,  on  his  part,  never  having 
been  questioned,  has  not  communicated  any  particulars  to 

"But  Manicamp?" 

"It  is  true  I  saw  Manicamp  at  Havre,  and  during  the 
journey  here,  but  I  was  very  careful  to  be  as  little  inquisi- 
tive toward  him  as  I  had  been  toward  De  Guiche.  Besides, 
is  it  likely  that  Manicamp  should  know  anything  of  such 
matters,  for  he  is  a  person  of  only  secondary  importance?" 

"My  dear  vicomte,  do  you  not  know  better  than  that?" 
said  the  prince.  "Why,  it  is  these  persons  of  secondary 
importance  who,  on  such  occasions,  have  all  the  influence; 
and  the  truth  is,  that  nearly  everything  has  been  done 
through  Manicamp's  presentations  to  De  Guiche,  and 
through  De  Guiche  to  Monsieur." 

"I  assure  you,  monseigneur,  I  was  completely  ignorant  of 
that,"  said  Raoul,  "and  what  your  highness  does  me  the 
honor  to  impart  is  perfectly  new  to  me." 

"I  will  most  readily  believe  you,  although  it  seems  in- 
credible; besides,  we  shall  not  have  long  to  wait.  See,  the 
flying  squadron  is  advancing,  as  good  Queen  Catherine  use 
to  say.     Ah!  ah!  what  pretty  faces!" 

A  bevy  of  young  girls  at  this  moment  entered  the  salon, 
conducted  by  Mme.  de  Navailles,  and  to  Manicamp's  credit 
be  it  said,  if,  indeed,  he  had  taken  that  part  in  their  selec- 
tion which  the  Prince  de  Conde  had  assigned  him,  it  was  a 
display  calculated  to  dazzle  those,  who,  like  the   prince. 

TEN    YEAKS    LATER.  93 

could  appreciate  every  character  and  style  of  beauty.  A 
young,  fair-complexioned  girl,  from  twenty  to  twenty- 
one  years  of  age,  and  whose  large  blue  eyes  flashed,  as 
she  opened  them,  in  the  most  dazzling  manner,  walked  at 
the  head  of  the  band  and  was  the  first  presented. 

"Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Charente,"  said  Mme.  de 
Navailles  to  Monsieur,  who,  as  he  saluted  his  wife,  repeated: 

"Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Charente." 

"Ah!  ah!"  said  the  Prince  de  Conde  to  Kaoul,  "she 
seems  tolerable  enough." 

"Yes,"  said  Raoul,  "but  has  a  somewhat  haughty  style." 

"Bah!  we  know  these  airs  very  well,  vicomte;  three 
months  hence  she  will  be  tame  enough.  But  look!  that, 
indeed,  is  a  pretty  face." 

"Yes,"  said  Eaoul,  "and  one  I  am  acquainted  with." 

"Mademoiselle  Aure  de  Montalais,"  said  Mme.  de 

The  name  and  Christian  name  were  carefully  repeated  by 

"Great  heavens!"  exclaimed  Eaoul,  fixing  his  bewildered 
gaze  upon  the  entrance  doorway. 

"What's  the  matter?"  inquired  the  prince;  "was  it 
Mademoiselle  Aure  de  Montalais  who  made  you  utter  such 
a  'Great  heavens!'  " 

"No,  monseigneur,  no,"  replied  Eaoul,  pale  and  trem- 

"Well,  then,  if  it  be  not  Mademoiselle  Aure  de  Montalais, 
it  is  that  pretty  blonde  who  follows  her.  What  beautiful 
eyes!  She  is  rather  thin,  but  has  fascinations  without 

"Mademoiselle  de  la  Baume  le  Blanc  de  la  Valliere,"  said 
Mme.  de  Navailles;  and,  as  this  name  resounded  through 
his  whole  being,  a  cloud  seemed  to  rise  from  his  breast  to 
his  eyes,  so  that  he  neither  saw  nor  heard  anything  more; 
and  the  prince,  finding  him  nothing  more  than  a  mere  echo 
which  remained  silent  under  his  railleries,  moved  forward 
to  inspect  somewhat  closer  the  beautiful  girls  whom  his  first 
glance  had  already  particularized. 

"Louise  here!  Louise  a  maid  of  honor  to  madame!"  mur- 
mured Eaoul;  and  his  eyes,  which  did  not  suffice  to  satisfy 
his  reason,  wandered  from  Louise  to  Montalais. 

The  latter  had  already  emancipated  herself  from  her 
assumed  timidity,  which  she  only  needed  for  the  presenta- 
tion and  for  her  reverences. 

Mile,  de  Montalais,  from  the  corner  of  the  room  to  which 


she  had  retired,  was  looking  with  no  slight  confidence  at 
the  different  persons  present;  and,  having  discovered  Eaonl, 
she  amnsed  herself  with  the  profound  astonishment  which 
her  own  and  her  friend's  presence  there  had  caused  the  un- 
happy lover.  Her  merry  and  malicious  look,  which  Eaoul 
tried  to  avoid  meeting,  and  yet  which  he  sought  inquiringly 
from  time  to  time,  placed  Eaoul  on  the  rack.  As  for 
Louise,  whether  from  natural  timidity,  or  from  any  other 
reason  for  which  Eaoul  could  not  account,  she  kept  her 
eyes  constantly  cast  down,  and  intimidated,  dazzled,  and 
with  impeded  respiration,  she  withdrew  herself  as  much  as 
possible  aside,  unaffected  even  by  the  knocks  which  Monta- 
lais  gave  her  with  her  elbow.  The  whole  scene  was  a  per- 
fect enigma  for  Eaoul,  the  key  to  which  he  would  have 
given  anything  to  obtain.  But  no  one  was  there  Avho  could 
assist  him,  not  even  Malicorne,  who,  a  little  uneasy  at  find- 
ing himself  in  the  presence  of  so  many  persons  of  good 
birth,  and  not  a  little  discouraged  by  Montalais'  bantering 
glances,  had  described  a  circle,  and  by  degrees  had  suc- 
ceeded in  getting  a  few  paces  from  the  prince,  behind  the 
group  of  maids  of  honor,  and  nearly  within  reach  of  Mile. 
Aure's  voice,  she  being  the  planet  around  which  he,  her 
attendant  satellite,  seemed  compelled  to  gravitate.  As  he 
recovered  his  self-possession  Eaoul  fancied  he  recognized 
voices  on  his  right  hand  which  were  familiar  to  him,  and  he 
perceived  De  Wardes,  De  Guiche,  and  the  Chevalier  de  Lor- 
raine, conversing  together.  It  is  true  they  were  talking  in 
tones  so  low  that  the  sound  of  their  words  could  hardly  be 
heard  in  the  vast  apartment.  To  speak  in  that  manner 
from  any  particular  place  without  bending  down,  or  turning 
round,  or  looking  at  the  person  with  whom  one  might  be 
engaged  in  conversation,  is  a  talent  which  cannot  be  imme- 
diately acquired  in  perfection  by  newcomers.  A  long  study 
is  needed  for  such  conversations,  which,  without  a  look, 
gesture,  or  movement  of  the  head,  seemed  like  the  conver- 
sation of  a  group  of  statues.  In  fact,  in  the  king's  and 
queen's  grand  assemblies,  while  their  majesties  were  speak- 
ing, and  while  every  one  present  seemed  to  be  listening  with 
the  most  profound  silence,  some  of  these  noiseless  conversa- 
tions took  place,  in  which  adulation  was  not  the  prevailing 
feature.  But  Eaoul  was  one  among  others  exceedingly 
clever  in  this  art,  so  much  a  matter  of  etiquette,  that  from 
the  movement  of  the  lips  he  was  often  able  to  guess  the 
sense  of  the  words. 

"Who  is  that  Montalais?"  inquired   De   Wardes,   "and 

TEN"    YEARS    LATER.  95 

that  La  Valliere?  Vvliat  country-town  have  we  had  sent 

"Montalais?"  said  the  chevalier.  "Oh,  I  know  her;  she 
is  a  good  sort  of  a  girl,  whom  we  shall  find  amusing  enough. 
La  Valliere  is  a  charming  girl,  slightly  lame." 

"Ah,  bah!"  said  De  Wardes. 

"Do  not  be  absurd,  De  Wardes,  there  are  some  very 
characteristic  and  ingenious  Latin  axioms  upon  lame  ladies." 

"Gentlemen,  gentlemen,"  said  De  Guiche,  looking  at 
Eaoul  with  uneasiness,  "be  a  little  careful,  I  entreat  you." 

But  the  uneasiness  of  the  count,  in  appearance,  at  least, 
was  not  needed.  Eaoul  had  preserved  the  firmest  and  most 
indilferent  countenance,  although  he  had  not  lost  a  word 
that  had  passed.  He  seemed  to  keep  an  account  of  the 
insolence  and  license  of  the  two  speakers  in  order  to  settle 
matters  witli  them  at  the  earliest  opportunity. 

De  Wardes  seemed  to  guess  what  was  passing  in  his  mind, 
and  continued: 

"Who  are  these  young  ladies'  lovers?" 

"Montalais'  lover?"  said  the  chevalier. 

"Yes,  Montalais  first." 

"You,  I,  or  De  Guiche — whoever  likes,  in  fact." 

"And  the  other?" 

"Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere?" 


"Take  care,  gentlemen,"  exclaimed  De  Guiche,  anxious 
to  put  a  stop  to  De  Wardes'  reply;  "take  care,  madame  is 
listening  to  us." 

Eaoul  thrust  his  hand  up  to  the  wrist  in  his  justau-coiys 
coat  in  great  agitation.  But  the  very  malignity  which  he 
saw  was  excited  against  these  poor  girls  made  him  take  a 
serious  resolution. 

"Poor  Louise,"  he  thought,  "has  come  here  only  with 
an  honorable  object  in  view,  and  under  honorable  protec- 
tion; and  I  must  learn  what  that  object  is  which  she  has  in 
view,  and  who  it  is  that  protects  her," 

And  following  Malicorne's  maneuver,  he  made  his  way  to- 
ward a  group  of  the  maids  of  honor.  The  presentations 
soon  terminated.  The  king,  who  had  done  nothing  but 
look  at  and  admire  madame,  shortly  afterward  left  the  re- 
ception-room accompanied  by  the  two  queens.  The  Cheva- 
lier de  Lorraine  resumed  his  place  beside  Monsieur,  and,  as 
he  accompanied  him,  insinuated  a  few  drops  of  the  poison 
which  he  had  collected  during  the  last  hour,  while  looking 
at  some  of  the  faces  in  the  court,  and    suspecting  that 

96  TEN"   YEARS   LATER. 

some  of  their  hearts  might  be  happy.  A  few  of  the  persons 
present  followed  the  king  as  he  quitted  the  apartment;  but 
such  of  the  courtiers  as  assumed  an  independence  of  char- 
acter, and  professed  a  gallantry  of  disposition,  began  to 
apj)roach  the  ladies  of  the  court.  The  prince  paid  his  com- 
pliments to  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente,  Buckingham  de- 
voted himself  to  Mme.  Chalais  and  to  Mile,  de  Lafayette, 
whom  madame  had  already  distinguished  by  her  notice, 
and  whom  she  held  in  high  regard.  As  for  the  Comte  de 
Guiche,  who  had  abandoned  Monsieur  as  soon  as  he  could 
approach  madame  alone,  he  conversed,  with  great  anima- 
tion, with  Mme.  de  Valentinois,  and  with  Miles,  de  Cregny 
and  de  Chatillon. 

Amid  these  varied  political  and  amorous  interests,  Mali- 
corne  was  anxious  to  gain  Montalais'  attention;  but  the 
latter  preferred  talking  with  Eaoul,  even  if  it  were  only  to 
amuse  herself  with  his  numerous  questions  and  his  surprise. 
Eaoul  had  gone  direct  to  Mile,  de  la  Valliere,  and  had 
saluted  her  with  the  profoundest  respect,  at  which  Louise 
blushed,  and  could  not  say  a  word.  Montalais,  however, 
hurried  to  her  assistance. 

"Well,  Monsieur  le  Vicomte,  here  we  are,  you  see." 

"I  do,  indeed,  see  you,"  said  Eaoul,  smiling,  "and  it  is 
exactly  because  you  are  here  that  I  wish  to  ask  for  some 

Malicorne  approached  the  group  with  his  most  fascinat- 
ing smile. 

"Go  away,  Malicorne;  really,  you  are  exceedingly  indis- 

At  this  remark  Malicorne  bit  his  lips  and  retired  a  few 
steps,  without  making  any  reply.  His  smile,  however, 
changed  its  exjDression,  and  from  its  former  frankness,  be- 
came mocking  in  its  expression. 

"You  wished  for  an  explanation.  Monsieur  Eaoul?"  in- 
quired Montalais. 

"It  is  surely  worth  one,  I  think;  Mademoiselle  de  la 
Valliere  a  maid  of  honor  to  madame!" 

"Why  should  not  she  be  a  maid  of  honor,  as  well  as 
myself?"  inquired  Montalais. 

"Pray,  accept  my  compliments,  young  ladies,"  said 
Eaoul,  who  fancied  he  perceived  they  were  not  disposed  to 
answer  him  in  a  direct  manner. 

"Your  remark  was  not  made  iu  a  very  complimentary 
manner,  vicomte." 


TEK   YEARS    LATER.  97 

^'Certainly;  I  appeal  to  Louise," 

"Monsieur  do  Brasfelonne  probably  thinks  the  position  is 
above  my  condition,"  said  Louise  hesitatingly. 

"Assuredly  not,"  replied  Eaoul  eagerly;  "you  know  very 
well  that  such  is  not  my  feeling;  were  you  called  upon  to 
occupy  a  queen's  throne,  I  should  not  be  surprised;  how 
much  greater  reason,  then,  such  a  position  as  this?  The 
only  circumstance  which  amazes  me  is,  that  I  should  have 
learned  it  to-day,  and  that  only  by  mere  accident." 

"That  is  true,"  replied  Montalais,  with  her  usual  giddi- 
ness; "you  know  nothing  about  it,  and  there  is  no  reason 
why  you  should.  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne  had  written 
several  letters  to  you,  but  your  mother  was  the  only  person 
who  remained  behind  at  Blois,  and  it  was  necessary  to  pre- 
vent these  letters  falling  into  her  hands;  I  intercepted 
them,  and  returned  them  to  Monsieur  Eaoul,  so  that  he  be- 
lieved you  were  still  at  Blois  while  you  were  here  in  Paris, 
and  had  no  idea  whatever,  indeed,  how  high  you  had  risen 
in  rank." 

"Did  you  not  inform  Monsieur  Eaoul,  as  I  begged  you  to 

"Why  should  I?  To  give  him  an  opportunity  of  making 
some  of  his  severe  remarks  and  moral  reflections,  and  to 
undo  what  we  had  so  much  trouble  in  getting  done?" 

"Ceitainly  not." 

"Am  I  so  very  severe,  then?"  said  Eaoul  inquiringly. 

"Besides,"  said  Montalais,  "it  is  sufficient  to  say  that  it 
suited  me.  I  was  about  setting  off  for  Paris;  you  were 
away;  Louise  was  weeping  her  eyes  out;  interpret  that  as 
you  please;  I  begged  a  friend,  a  protector  of  mine,  who  had 
obtained  the  appointment  for  me,  to  solicit  one  for  Louise; 
the  appointment  arrived.  Louise  left  in  order  to  get  her 
costume  prepared;  as  I  had  my  own  ready,  I  remained  be- 
hind; I  received  your  letters,  and  returned  them  to  you, 
adding  a  few  Avords,  promising  you  a  surprise.  Your  sur- 
prise is  before  you,  monsieur,  and  seems  to  be  a  fair  one 
enough;  you  have  nothing  more  to  ask.  Come,  Monsieur 
Malicorne,  it  is  now  time  to  leave  these  young  people  to- 
gether; they  have  many  things  to  talk  about;  give  me  your 
hand;  I  trust  that  you  appreciate  the  honor  which  is  con- 
ferred upon  you.  Monsieur  Malicorne." 

"Forgive  me,"  said  Eaoul,  arresting  the  giddy  girl,  and 
giving  to  his  voice  .n  intonation  the  gravity  of  which  con- 
trasted with  that  of  Montalais;  "forgive  me,  but  may  I  in- 
quire the  name  of  the  protector  you  speak  of — for  if  protec- 
DuMAS — Vol.  XV.  5 

98  TEN    TEAKS   LATER. 

tion  be  extended  toward  you,  Mademoiselle  Montalais,  and 
for  which,  indeed,  so  many  reasons  exist,"  added  Raoul, 
bowing,  *'I  do  not  see  that  the  same  reasons  exist  why 
Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere  should  be  similarly  protected." 

"But,  Monsieur  Raoul,"  said  Louise  innocently,  "there 
is  no  difference  in  the  matter,  and  I  do  not  see  why  I  should 
not  tell  it  you  myself;  it  was  Monsieur  Malicorne  who 
obtained  it  for  me." 

Eaoul  remained  for  a  moment  almost  stupefied,  asking 
himself  if  they  were  trifling  with  him;  he  then  turned 
round  to  interrogate  Malicorne,  but  he  had  been  hurried 
away  by  Montalais,  and  was  already  at  some  distance  from 
them.  Mile,  de  la  Valliere  attempted  to  follow  her  friend, 
but  Eaoul,  with  gentle  authority,  detained  her. 

"Louise,  one  word  only,  I  beg." 

"But,  Monsieur  Raoul,"  said  Louise,  blushing,  "we  are 
alone.  Every  one  has  left.  They  will  become  anxious,  and 
will  be  looking  for  us." 

"Fear  nothing,"  said  the  young  man,  smiling,  "we  are 
neither  of  sufficient  importance  for  our  absence  to  be  re- 

"But  I  have  my  duty  to  perform.  Monsieur  Raoul." 

"Do  not  be  alarmed,  I  am  acquainted  with  the  usages  of 
the  court;  you  will  not  be  on  duty  until  to-morrow;  a  few 
minutes  are  at  your  disposal,  which  will  enable  you  to  give 
me  the  information  I  am  about  to  have  the  honor  to  ask 

"How  serious  you  are.  Monsieur  Eaoul!"  said  Louise. 

"Because  the  circumstance  is  a  serious  one.  Are  you 

"I  am  listening;  I  would  only  rej^eat,  monsieur,  that  we 
are  quite  alone." 

"You  are  right,"  said  Eaoul;  and,  offering  her  his  hand, 
he  led  the  young  girl  into  the  gallery  adjoining  the  recep- 
tion-room, the  windows  of  which  looked  out  upon  the  court- 
yard. Every  one  hurried  toward  the  middle  window,  which 
had  a  balcony  outside,  from  which  all  the  details  of  the 
slow  and  formal  preparations  for  departure  could  be  seen. 
Raoul  Oldened  one  of  the  side  windows,  and  then,  being 
alone  with  Louise,  said  to  her: 

"You  know,  Louise,  that  from  my  childhood  I  have  re- 
garded you  as  my  sister,  as  one  who  has  been  the  confidnate 
of  all  my  troubles,  to  whom  I  have  intrusted  all  my  hopes." 

"Yes,  Monsieur  Raoul,"  she  answered  softly;  "yes, 
Monsieur  Raoul,  I  know  that." 

TEIS"    YEARS    LATER.  99 

"You  used,  on  your  side,  to  show  the  same  friendship 
toward  me,  and  had  the  same  confidence  in  me.  Why  have 
you  not,  on  this  occasion,  been  my  friend,  and  why  have 
you  shown  a  suspicion  of  me?" 

Mile,  de  la  Valliere  did  not  answer. 

''I  had  thought  you  loved  me,"  said  Eaoul,  whose  voice 
became  more  and  more  agitated;  "I  had  thought  that  you 
had  consented  to  all  the  plans  which  we  had,  together,  laid 
down  for  our  own  happiness,  at  the  time  when  we  wandered 
up  and  down  the  large  walks  of  Cour-Cheverny,  and  under 
the  avenue  of  poplar-trees  leading  to  Blois.  You  do  not 
answer  me,  Louise." 

"Is  it  possible,"  he  inquired,  breathing  with  difficulty, 
"that  you  no  longer  love  me?" 

"I  did  not  say  so,"  replied  Louise  softly. 

"Oh!  tell  me  the  truth,  I  implore  you;  all  my  hopes  in 
life  are  centered  in  you;  I  chose  you  for  your  gentle  and 
simple  tastes.  Do  not  suffer  yourself  to  be  dazzled,  Louise, 
now  that  you  are  in  the  midst  of  a  court  where  all  that  is 
pure  becomes  corrupt — where  all  that  is  young  soon  grows 
old.  Louise,  close  your  ears,  so  as  not  to  hear  what  may 
be  said;  shut  your  eyes,  so  as  not  to  see  the  examples 
before  you;  shut  your  lips,  that  you  may  not  inhale  the 
corrupting  influences  about  you.  Without  falsehood  or 
subterfuge,  Louise,  am  I  to  believe  what  Mademoiselle  de 
Montalais  stated?  Louise,  did  you  come  to  Paris  because  I 
was  no  longer  at  Blois?" 

La  Valliere  blushed  and  concealed  her  face  in  her  hands. 

"Yes,  it  was  so,  then!"  exclaimed  Eaoul  delightedly; 
"that  was,  then,  your  reason  for  coming  here.  I  love  you 
as  I  never  yet  loved  you.  Thanks,  Louise,  for  this  de- 
votedness;  but  measures  must  be  taken  to  place  you  beyond 
all  insult,  to  secure  you  from  every  harm;  Louise,  a  maid 
of  honor,  in  the  court  of  a  young  princess  in  these  times  of 
freedom  of  manners  and  inconstant  affections — a  maid  of 
honor  is  placed  as  an  object  of  attack,  without  having  any 
means  of  defense  afforded  her;  this  state  of  things  cannot 
continue;  you  must  be  married  in  order  to  be  respected." 


"Yes,  there  is  my  hand,  Louise;  will  you  place  your 
hand  within  it?" 

"But  your  father?" 

"My  father  leaves  me  perfectly  free." 

*'Yet " 

"I  understand  your  scruples,  Louise;  I  will  consult  my 


"Reflect,  Monsieur  Eaonl;  wait." 

"Wait?  It  is  impossible;  reflect,  Louise,  when  you  are 
concerned,  it  would  be  insulting  to  you;  give  me  your  hand, 
dear  Louise,  I  am  my  own  master;  my  father  will  consent, 
I  know;  give  me  your  hand,  do  not  keep  me  waiting  thus; 
one  word  in  answer,  one  word  only;  if  not,  I  shall  begin  to 
think  that  in  order  to  change  you  forever  nothing  more 
was  needed  than  a  single  step  in  the  palace,  a  single  breath 
of  favor,  a  smile  from  the  queen,  a  single  look  from  the 

Raoul  had  no  sooner  pronounced  this  latter  word  than 
La  Valliere  became  as  pale  as  death,  no  doubt  from  her  fear 
at  seeing  the  young  man  excite  himself.  With  a  movement 
as  rapid  as  thought,  she  placed  both  her  hands  in  those  of 
Ea')ul,  and  then  fled  without  adding  a  syllable;  disappeared 
without  casting  a  look  behind  her.  Eaoul  felt  his  whole 
frame  tremble  at  the  contact  of  her  hand;  he  received  the 
compact  as  a  solemn  compact  wrung  by  affectioii  from  her 
child-like  timidity. 



Raoul  had  quitted  the  Palais  Royal  full  of  ideas  which 
admitted  of  no  delay  in  their  execution.  He  mounted  his 
horse  in  the  courtyard,  and  followed  the  road-  to  Blois, 
Vv'hile  the  marriage  festivities  of  Monsieur  and  the  Princess 
of  England  were  being  celebrated  with  great  animation  by 
the  courtiers,  but  to  the  great  despair  of  De  Guiche  an^ 
Buckingham.  Raoul  lost  no  time  on  the  road,  and  in  six- 
teen hours  he  arrived  at  Blois.  As  he  traveled  along  he 
arranged  his  arguments  in  the  best  manner.  Fever  also  is 
an  argument  that  cannot  be  answered,  and  Raoul  had  an 
attack  of  fever.  Athos  was  in  his  study,  making  some 
additions  to  his  memoirs,  when  Raoul  entered,  accompanied 
by  Grimaud.  Keen-sighted  and  penetrating,  a  mere  glance 
at  his  son  told  him  that  something  extraordinary  had 
befallen  him. 

"You  seem  to  have  come  on  some  matter  of  great  impor- 
tance," said  he  to  Raoul,  after  he  had  embraced  him,  and 
pointing  to  a  seat. 

"Yes,  monsieur,"  replied  the  young  man;  "and  I  entreat 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  101 

you  to  give  me  that  same  kind  attention  which  has  never 
yet  failed  me." 

"Speak,  Eaoul." 

"I  present  the  case  to  you,  monsieur,  free  from  all  pref- 
ace, for  that  would  be  unworthy  of  you.  Madmeoiselle  de 
la  Valliere  is  in  Paris  as  one  of  madame's  maids  of  honor. 
I  have  pondered  deeply  on  the  matter;  I  love  Madmeoiselle 
de  la  Valliere  above  everything;  and  it  is  not  proper  to 
leave  her  in  a  position  where  her  reputation,  her  virtue 
even,  may  be  exposed.  It  is  my  wish,  therefore,  to  marry 
her,  monsieur,  and  I  have  come  to  solicit  your  consent  to 
my  marriage." 

While  this  communication  was  being  made  to  him  Athos 
had  maintained  the  profoundest  silence  and  reserve.  Eaoul, 
who  had  begun  his  address  with  an  assumption  of  self- 
possession,  finished  it  by  allowing  a  manifest  emotion  to 
escape  him  at  every  word.  Athos  fixed  upon  Bragelonne  a 
searching  look,  overshadowed  indeed  by  a  slight  sadness. 

"You  have  reflected  well  upon  it?"  he  inquired. 

"Yes,  monsieur." 

"I  believe  you  have  already  been  made  acquainted  with 
my  views  respecting  this  alliance?" 

"Yes,  monsieur,"  replied  Eaoul,  in  a  low  tone  of  voice; 
"but  you  added  that  if  I  persisted ^" 

"You  do  insist,  then?" 

Bragelonne  stammered  out  an  almost  unintelligible  assent. 

"Your  passion,"  continued  Athos  tranquilly,  "must, 
indeed,  be  very  great,  since,  notwithstanding  my  dislike  to 
this  union,  you  persist  in  wishing  it." 

Eaoul  passed  his  trembling  hand  across  his  forehead  to 
remove  the  perspiration  which  had  collected  there.  Athos 
looked  at  him,  and  his  heart  was  touched  by  pity  for  him. 
He  then  rose,  and  said: 

"It  is  no  matter;  my  own  personal  feelings  are  indiffer- 
ent, since  yours  are  concerned;  you  ijeed  my  assistance,  I 
am  ready  to  give  it;  tell  me  what  you  want." 

"Your  kind  indulgence,  first  of  all,  monsieur,"  said 
Eaoul,  taking  hold  of  his  hand. 

"You  have  mistaken  my  feelings,  Eaoul.  I  have  more 
than  mere  indulgence. for  you  in  my  heart." 

Eaoul  kissed  as  devotedly  as  a  lover  could  have  done  the 
hand  he  held  in  his  own. 

"Come,  come,"  said  Athos,  "I  am  quite  ready;  what  do 
you  wish  me  to  sign?" 

"Nothing  whatever,  monsieur;  only  it  would  be  very  kind 

102  TElf    YEARS    LATER. 

if  you  would  take  the  trouble  to  write  to  the  king,  to  whom 
I  belong,  and  solicit  his  majesty's  permission  for  me  to 
marry  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere." 

"Well  thought,  Raoul;  after,  or  rather,  before  myself, 
you  have  a  master  to  consult,  that  master  being  the  king; 
it  is  loyal  in  you  to  submit  yourself  voluntarily  to  this 
double  proof;  I  will  grant  your  request  without  delay, 

The  count  approached  the  window,  and,  leaning  out, 
called  to  Grimaud,  who  showed  his  head  from  an  arbor 
covoered  with  jasmine,  which  he  was  occupied  in  trimming. 

"My  horses,  Grimaud,"  continued  the  count. 

"Why  this  order,  monsieur?"  inquired  Eaoul. 

"We  shall  set  oU  in  a  few  hours." 


"For  Paris." 

"Paris,  monsieur?" 

"Is  not  the  king  at  Paris?" 


"Well,  ought  we  not  to  go  there?" 

"Yes,  monsieur,"  said  Eaoul,  almost  alarmed  by  this 
kind  condescension.  "I  do  not  ask  you  to  put  yourself  to 
such  inconvenience,  and  a  letter  merely " 

"You  mistake  my  position,  Eaoul;  it  is  not  respectful 
that  a  simple  gentleman,  such  as  I  am,  should  write  to  his 
sovereign.  I  wish  to  speak,  and  I  ought  to  speak,  to  the 
king,  and  I  will  do  so.     We  will  go  together,  Eaoul." 

"You  overjiower  me  with  your  kindness,  monsieur." 

"How  do  you  think  his  majesty  is  affected?" 

"Toward  me,  monsieur?" 


"Excellently  well  disposed." 

"You  know  that  to  be  so?"  continued  the  count. 

"The  king  has  himself  told  me  so." 

"On  what  occasion?" 

"Upon  the  recommendation  of  Monsieur  d'Artagnan,  I 
believe,  and  on  account  of  an  affair  in  the  Place  de  Greve, 
v/hen  I  had  the  honor  to  draw  my  sword  in  the  king's  serv- 
ice. I  have  reason  to  believe  that,  vanity  apart,  I  stand 
well  with  his  majesty." 

"So  much  the  better." 

"But  I  entreat  you,  monsieur,"  pursued  Eaoul,  "not  to 
maintain  toward  me  your  present  grave  and  serious  manner. 
Do  not  make  me  bitterly  regret  having  listened  to  a  feeling 
stronger  than  anything  else." 

TEN   YEAllS   LATER.  103 

"That  is  the  second  time  you  have  said  so,  Raoul;  it  was 
quite  unnecessary;  you  require  my  formal  consent,  and  you 
have  it.  We  need  talk  no  more  on  the  subject,  therefore. 
Come  and  see  my  new  plantations,  liaoul." 

The  young  man  knew  very  well  that,  after  the  expres- 
sion of  his  father's  wish,  no  opportunity  of  discussion  was 
loft  him.  He  bowed  his  head,  and  followed  his  father  into 
the  garden.  Athos  slowly  pointed  out  to  him  the  grafts, 
the  cuttings,  and  the  avenues  he  was  planting.  This  per- 
fect repose  of  manner  disconcerted  Eaoul  extremely;  the 
affection  with  which  his  own  heart  was  filled  seemed  so 
great  that  the  whole  world  could  hardly  contain  it.  How, 
then,  could  his  father's  heart  remain  void,  and  closed  to  its 
influence?  Bragelonne  therefore,  collecting  all  his  courage, 
suddenly  exclaimed: 

"It  is  impossible,  monsieur,  you  can  have  any  reason  to 
reject  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere;  in  Heaven's  name,  she 
is  so  good,  so  gentle  and  pure,  that  your  mind,  so  perfect 
in  its  penetration,  ought  to  appreciate  her  accordingly. 
Does  any  secret  repugnance,  or  any  hereditary  dislike,  exist 
between  you  and  her  family?" 

"Look,  Raoul,  at  that  beautiful  lily  of  the  valley,"  said 
Athos;  "observe  how  the  shade  and  the  damp  situation  suic 
it,  particularly  the  shadow  Avhich  that  sycamore-tree  casts 
over  it,  so  that  the  warmth,  and  not  the  blazing  heat  of 
the  sun,  filters  through  its  branches." 

Raoul  stopped,  bit  his  lips,  and  then,  with  the  blood 
mantling  in  his  face,  he  said  courageously: 

"One  word  of  explanation,  I  beg,  monsieur.  You  cannot 
forget  that  your  son  is  a  man." 

"In  that  case,"  replied  Athos,  drawing  himself  up  with 
sternness,  "prove  to  me  that  you  are  a  man,  for  you  do  not 
show  yourself  to  be  a  son.  I  begged  you  to  wait  the  oppor- 
tunity of  forming  an  illustrious  alliance.  I  should  have 
obtained  a  wife  for  you  from  the  first  ranks  of  the  rich 
nobility.  I  wish  you  to  be  distinguished  by  the  splendor 
which  glory  and  fortune  confer,  for  nobility  of  descent  you 
have  already." 

"Monsieur,"  exclaimed  Raoul,  carried  away  by  a  first  im- 
pulse, "I  was  reproached  the  other  day  for  not  knowing 
who  my  mother  was." 

Athos  turned  pale;  then,  knitting  his  brows  like  the 
greatest  of  the  heathen  deities: 

"I  am  waiting  to  learn  the  reply  you  made,"  he  de- 
manded, in  an  imperious  manner. 


"Forgive  me!  oh,  forgive  me!''  murmured  the  young 
man,  sinking  at  once  from  the  lofty  tone  he  had  assumed. 

"What  was  your  reply,  monsieur?"  inquired  the  count, 
stamping  his  feet  upon  the  ground. 

"Monsieur,  my  sword  was  in  my  hand  immediately,  my 
adversary  placed  himself  on  guard,  I  struck  his  sword  over 
the  palisade,  and  threw  him  after  it." 

"Why  did  you  suffer  him  to  live?" 

"The  king  has  prohibited  dueling,  and  at  that  moment 
I  was  an  ambassador  of  the  king." 

"Very  well,"  said  Athos;  "but  the  greater  reason  I  should 
see  his  majesty." 

"What  do  you  intend  to  ask  him?" 

"Authority  to  draw  my  sword  against  the  man  who  has 
inflicted  this  injury  upon  me." 

"If  I  did  not  act  as  I  ought  to  have  done,  I  beg  you  to 
forgive  me." 

"Did  I  reproach  you,  Eaoul?" 

"Still,  the  permission  you  are  going  to  ask  from  the 

"I  will  implore  his  majesty  to  sign  your  marriage-con- 
tract, but  on  one  condition." 

"Are  conditions  necessary  with  me,  monsieur?  Com- 
mand, and  you  shall  be  obeyed." 

"On  one  condition,  I  repeat,"  continued  Athos;  "that 
you  tell  me  the  name  of  the  man  who  spoke  of  your  mother 
in  that  way." 

"What  need  is  there  that  you  should  know  his  name? 
The  olfense  was  directed  against  myself,  and  the  permission 
once  obtained  from  his  majesty,  to  revenge  it  is  my  affair." 

"Tell  me  his  name,  monsieur." 

"I  will  not  allow  you  to  expose  yourself." 

"Do  you  take  me  for  a  Don  Diego?     His  name,  I  say." 

"You  insist  upon  it?" 

"I  demand  it." 

"The  Vicomte  de  Wardes." 

"Very  well,"  said  Athos  tranquilly;  "I  know  him. 
But  our  horses  are  ready,  I  see;  and,  instead  of  delaying 
our  departure  for  a  couple  of  liours,  we  will  set  off  at  once. 
Come,  monsieur." 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  105 



While  the  Comte  de  la  Fere  was  proceeding  on  his  way 
to  Paris,  accompanied  by  Raoul,  the  Palais  Royal  was  the 
theater  wherein  a  scene  of  what  Moliere  would  have  called 
excellent  comedy  was  being  performed.  Four  days  had 
elapsed  since  his  marriage,  and  Monsieur,  having  break- 
fasted very  hurriedly,  passed  into  his  antechamber,  frown- 
ing and  out  of  temper.  The  repast  had  not  been  over- 
agreeable.  Madame  had  had  breakfast  served  in  her  oAvn 
appartment,  and  Monsieur  had  breakfasted  almost  alone; 
the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine  and  Manicamp  were  the  only 
persons  present  at  the  meal,  which  had  lasted  three-quarters 
of  au  hour  without  a  single  syllable  having  been  uttered. 
Manicamp,  who  was  less  intimate  with  his  royal  highness 
than  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine,  vainly  endeavored  to  de- 
tect, from  the  expression  of  the  prince's  face,  what  had 
made  him  so  ill-humored.  The  Chevalier  de  Lorraine,  who 
had  no  occasion  to  speculate  about  anything,  inasmuch  as 
he  knew  all,  ate  his  breakfast  with  that  extraordinary  appe- 
tite which  the  troubles  of  one's  friends  afford  us,  and  en- 
joyed at  the  same  time  both  the  ill-humor  of  Monsieur  and 
the  vexation  of  Manicamp.  He  seemed  delighted,  while  he 
went  on  eating,  to  detain  the  prince,  who  wis  very  im- 
patient to  move,  still  at  table.  Monsieur  at  times  repented 
the  ascendency  which  he  had  permitted  the  Chevalier  de 
Lorraine  to  acquire  over  him,  and  which  exempted  the 
latter  from  any  observance  of  etiquette  toward  him.  Mon- 
sieur was  now  in  one  of  those  moods,  but  he  dreaded  as 
much  as  he  liked  the  chevalier,  and  contented  himself  with 
indulging  his  anger  without  betraying  it.  Every  now  and 
then  Monsieur  raised  his  eyes  to  the  ceiling,  then  lowered 
them  toward  the  slices  of  2^dte  which  the  chevalier  was 
attacking;  and  finally,  not  venturing  to  betray  his  anger, 
he  gesticulated  in  a  manner  which  Harlequin  might  have 
envied.  At  last,  however,  Monsieur  could  control  himself 
no  longer,  and  at  the  dessert,  rising  from  the  table  in  ex- 
cessive wrath,  as  we  have  related,  he  left  the  Chevalier  de 
Lorraine  to  finish  his  breakfast  as  he  pleased.  Seeing  Mon- 
sieur rise  from  the  table,  Manicamp,  napkin  in  hand,  rose 
also.  Monsieur  ran  rather  than  walked  toward  the  ante- 
chamber, where,  noticing  an  usher  in  attendance,  he  gave 

106  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

him  some  directions  iu  a  low  tone  of  voice.  Then,  turning 
back  again,  but  avoiding  passing  through  the  breakfast 
apartment,  he  crossed  several  rooms,  with  the  intention  of 
seeking  the  queen-mother  in  her  oratory,  where  she  usually 

It  was  about  ten  o'clock  in  the  morning.  Anne  of  Austria 
was  engaged  in  writing  as  Monsieur  entered.  The  queen- 
mother  was  extremely  attached  to  her  son,  for  he  was  hand- 
some in  person  and  amiable  in  disposition.  He  was,  in  fact, 
more  affectionate,  and,  it  might  be,  more  effeminate  than 
the  king.  He  pleased  his  mother  by  those  trifling  sym- 
pathizing attentions  which  all  women  are  glad  to  receive. 
Anne  of  Austria,  who  would  have  been  rejoiced  to  have  had 
a  daughter,  almost  found  in  this,  her  favorite  son,  the  atten- 
tions, solicitude,  and  playful  manners  of  a  child  of  twelve 
years  of  age.  All  the  time  he  passed  with  his  mother  he 
employed  in  admiring  her  arms,  in  giving  his  opinion  upon 
her  cosmetics,  and  recipes  for  compounding  essences,  in 
which  she  was  very  particular;  and  then,  too,  he  kissed  her 
hands  and  eyes  in  the  most  endearing  and  childlike  manner, 
and  had  always  some  sweetmeats  to  offer  her,  or  some  new 
style  of  dress  to  recommend.  Anne  of  Austria  loved  the 
king,  or,  rather,  the  regal  power  in  her  eldest  son;  Louis 
XIV.  represented  legitimacy  by  divine  right.  With  the 
king,  her  character  was  that  of  the  queen-mother;  with 
Philip  she  was  simply  the  mother.  The  latter  knew  that, 
of  all  places  of  refuge,  a  mother's  heart  is  the  most  com- 
passionate and  surest.  When  quite  a  child  he  always  fled 
there  for  refuge  when  he  and  his  brother  quarreled,  often, 
after  having  struck  him,  which  constituted  the  crime  of 
high  treason  on  his  part,  after  certain  engagements  vrith 
hands  and  nails,  in  which  the  king  and  his  rebellious  sub- 
ject indulged  in  their  night-dresses  respecting  the  right  to  a 
disputed  bed,  having  their  servant  Laporte  as  umpire — 
Philip,  the  conqueror,  but  terrified  at  his  victory,  used  to 
flee  to  his  mother  to  obtain  reinforcements  from  her,  or, 
at  least,  the  assurance  of  a  forgiveness,  which  Louis  XIV. 
granted  with  difficulty,  and  after  an  interval.  Anne,  from 
this  habit  of  peaceable  intervention,  had  succeeded  in 
arranging  the  different  disputes  of  both  her  sons,  and  in 
sharing,  at  _  the  same  time,  all  their  secrets.  The  king, 
somewhat  jealous  of  that  maternal  solicitude  which  was 
bestowed  particularly  upon  his  brother,  felt  disposed  to 
show  toward  Anne  of  Austria  more  submission  and  attach 
ment  than  his  character  really  possessed.     Anne  of  Austria 

TEN   YEARS   LATER.  107 

had  adopted  this  line  of  conduct  especially  toward  the 
young  queen.  In  this  manner  she  ruled  with  almost 
despotic  sway  over  the  royal  household,  and  she  was  already 
preparing  all  her  batteries  to  rule  with  the  same  absolute 
authority  over  the  household  of  her  second  son.  Anne  ex- 
perienced almost  a  feeling  of  pride  whenever  she  saw  any 
one  enter  her  apartment  with  Avoe-begone  looks,  pale  cheeks, 
or  red  eyes,  gathering  from  appearances  that  assistance  was 
required  either  by  the  weakest  or  by  the  most  rebellious. 
She  was  writing,  we  have  said,  when  Monsieur  entered  her 
oratory,  not  with  red  eyes  or  pale  cheeks,  but  restless,  out 
of  temper,  and  annoyed.  With  an  absent  air  he  kissed  his 
mother's  arms,  and  sat  himself  down  before  receiving  her 
permission  to  do  so.  Considering  the  strict  rules  of 
etiquette  established  at  the  court  of  Anne  of  Austria,  this 
forgetfulness  of  customary  respect  was  a  sign  of  preoccupa- 
tion, especially  on  Philip's  part,  who,  of  his  own  accord, 
observed  a  respect  toward  her  of  a  somewhat  exaggerated 
character.  If,  therefore,  he  so  notoriously  failed  with 
regard  to  such  principles  of  respect,  there  must  surely  be  a 
serious  cause  for  it. 

"What  is  the  matter,  Philip?"  inquired  Anne  of  Austria, 
turning  toward  her  son. 

"A  great  many  things,"  murmured  the  prince,  in  a  dole- 
ful tone  of  voice. 

"You  look  like  a  man  who  has  a  great  deal  to  do,"  said 
the  queen,  laying  down  her  pen. 

Philip  frowned,  but  did  not  reply. 

"Among  the  various  subjects  which  occupy  your  mind," 
said  Anne  of  Austria,  "there  must  surely  be  one  which 
occupies  it  more  than  others." 

"One,  indeed,  has  occupied  me  more  than  any  other." 

"Well,  what  is  it?     I  am  listening." 

Philip  opened  his  mouth  as  if  to  express  all  the  troubles 
his  mind  was  filled  v/ith,  and  which  he  seemed  to  be  wait- 
ing only  for  an  opportunity  to  declare  what  they  were. 
But  he  suddenly  became  silent,  and  a  sigh  alone  expressed 
all  that  his  heart  was  filled  Avith. 

"Come,  Philip,  show  a  little  firmness,"  said  the  queen- 
mother.  "When  one  has  to  complain  of  anything  it  is 
generally  an  individual  who  is  the  cause  of  it.  Am  I  not 

"I  do  not  say  no,  madame." 

"Whom  do  you  wish  to  speak  about?  Come,  take 

108  TEN   YEARS    LATEE. 

"Ill  fact,  madame,  what  I  might  possibly  have  to  say 
must  be  kept  a  perfect  secret;  for  when  a  lady  is  in  the 
case " 

''Ah!  you're  speaking  of  madame,  then?"  inquired  the 
queen-mother,  with  a  feeling  of  the  liveliest  curiosity. 


"Well,  then,  if  you  wish  to  speak  of  madame,  do  not 
hesitate  to  do  so.  I  am  your  mother,  and  she  is  no  more 
than  a  stranger  to  me.  Yet,  as  she  is  my  daughter-in-lav\% 
be  assured  1  shall  be  interested,  even  were  it  for  your  OT\'n 
sake  alone,  in  hearing  all  you  may  have  to  say  about  her." 

"Pray  tell  me,  madame,  in  your  turn,  whether  you  have 
not  remarked  something?" 

"Something!  Philip!  Your  words  almost  frighten  me, 
from  their  want  of  meaning.  What  do  you  mean  by  some- 

"Madame  is  pretty,  certainly." 

"No  doubt  of  it." 

"Yet  not  altogether  beautiful." 

"No;  but  as  she  grows  older  she  will  probably  become 
very  strikingly  beautiful.  You  must  have  remarked  the 
change  which  a  few  years  have  already  made  in  her.  Her 
beauty  will  improve  more  and  more;  she  is  now  only  sixteen 
years  of  age.  At  fifteen  I  was,  myself,  very  thin;  but  even 
as  she  is  at  present,  madame  is  very  pretty." 

"And,  consequently,  others  may  have  remarked  it." 

"Undoubtedly,  for  a  woman  of  ordinary  rank  is  remarked, 
and  with  still  greater  reason  a  princess." 

"She  has  been  well  brought  up,  I  suppose?" 

"Madame  Henrietta,  her  mother,  is  a  woman  somewhat 
cold  in  her  manner,  slightly  pretentious,  but  full  of  noble 
thoughts.  The  princess'  education  may  have  been  neg- 
lected, but  her  principles  I  believe  to  be  good.  Such,  at 
least,  was  the  opinion  I  formed  of  her  when  she  resided  in 
France;  but  she  afterward  returned  to  England,  and  I  am 
ignorant  what  may  have  occurred  there." 

"What  do  you  mean?" 

"Simply  that  there  are  some  heads  naturally  giddy,  which 
are  easily  turned  by  prosperity." 

"That  is  the  very  word,  madame.  I  think  the  princess 
rather  giddy." 

"We  must  not  exaggerate,  Philip;  she  is  clever  and  witty, 
and  has  a  certain  amount  of  coquetry  very  natural  in  a 
young  woman;  but  this  defect  is,  in  persons  of  high  rank 
and  position,  a  great  advantage  at  a  court.     A  princess  who 

TEN   YEARS   LATER.  109 

is  tinged  with  coquetry  usually  forms  a  brilliant  court 
around  her;  her  smile  stimulates  luxury,  and  arouses  wit, 
and  even  courage;  the  nobles,  too,  fight  better  for  a  prince 
whose  wife  is  beautiful." 

"Thank  you  extremely,  madame,"said  Philip,  with  some 
temper;  "you  really  have  drawn  some  very  alarming  pic- 
tures for  me." 

"In  what  respect?"  asked  the  queen,  with  j)retended 

"You  know,  madamo,"  said  Philip  dolefully,  "whether 
I  had  or  had  not  a  very  great  dislike  to  getting  married." 

"Now,  indeed,  you  alarm  me.  You  have  some  serious 
cause  of  complaint  against  madame." 

"I  do  not  precisely  say  it  is  serious." 

"In  that  case,  then,  throw  aside  your  present  mournful 
looks.  If  you  show  yourself  to  others  in  your  present  state, 
people  will  take  you  for  a  very  unhapjiy  husband." 

"The  fact  is,"  replied  Philip,  "I  am  not  altogether  satis- 
fied as  a  husband,  and  1  shall  be  glad  that  others  should 
know  it." 

"For  shame,  Philip." 

"Well,  then,  madame,  I  will  tell  you  frankly  that  I  do 
not  understand  the  life  I  am  required  to  lead." 

"Explain  yourself." 

"My  wife  does  not  seem  to  belong  to  me;  she  is  always 
leaving  me  for  some  reason  or  another.  In  the  mornings 
there  are  visits,  correspondences,  and  toilets;  in  the  even- 
ings, balls  and  concerts." 

"You  are  jealous,  Philip." 

"I?  Heaven  forbid.  Let  others  act  the  part  of  a  jealous 
husband,  not  I;  but  I  am  annoyed." 

"All  those  things  you  reproach  your  wife  with  are  per- 
fectly innocent,  and,  so  long  as  you  have  nothing  of  greater 
importance —  Yet,  listen:  without  being  very  blamable,  a 
woman  can  excite  a  good  deal  of  uneasiness;  certain  visitors 
may  be  received,  certain  preferences  shown,  which  expose 
young  women  to  remark,  and  which  are  enough  to  drive  out 
of  their  senses  even  those  husbands  who  are  least  disposed 
to  be  jealous." 

"Ah!  now  we  are  coming  to  the  real  point  at  last,  and 
not  without  some  difficulty,  too.  You  speak  of  frequent 
visits  and  certain  preferences — very  good;  for  the  last  hour 
we  have  been  beating  about  the  bush,  and  at  last  you  have 
broached  the  true  question." 

"This  is  more   serious  than   I   thought.     Is  it  possible. 

110  TEN"    YEARS    LATER. 

then,  that  madame  can  have  given  you  grounds  for  these 
complaints  against  her?" 

"Precisely  so." 

"What,  your  wife,  married  only  four  days  ago,  prefer 
some  other  person  to  yourself!  Take  care,  Philip,  you  ex- 
aggerate your  grievances;  in  wishing  to  j^rove  everything, 
you  prove  nothing." 

The  prince,  bewildered  by  his  mother's  serious  manner, 
wished  to  reply,  but  he  could  only  stammer  out  some  unin- 
telligible words. 

"You  draw  back,  then?"  said  Anne  of  Austria.  "I  pre- 
fer that,  as  it  is  an  acknowledgment  of  your  mistake." 

"No!"  exclaimed  Philip,  "I  do  not  draw  back,  and  I 
will  prove  all  I  asserted.  I  spoke  of  preference  and  of 
visits,  did  I  not?     Well,  listen  to  them." 

Anne  of  Austria  prepared  herself  to  listen  with  that  love 
of  gossip  which  the  best  woman  living  and  the  best  mother, 
were  she  a  queen  even,  always  finds  in  being  mixed  up  with 
the  petty  squabbles  of  a  household. 

"Well,"  said  Philip,  "tell  me  one  thing." 

"What  is  that?" 

"Why  does  my  wife  retain  an  English  court  about  h%r?'* 
said  Philip,  as  he  crossed  his  arms  and  looked  his  mother 
steadily  in  the  face,  as  if  he  were  convinced  that  she  could 
not  answer  the  question. 

"For  a  very  simple  reason,"  returned  Anne  of  Austria; 
"because  the  English  are  her  countrymen,  because  they 
have  expended  large  sums  in  order  to  accomjiany  her  to 
France,  and  because  it  would  be  hardly  polite — not  good 
policy,  certainly — to  dismiss  abruptly  those  members  of  the 
English  nobility  Avho  have  not  shrunk  from  any  devotion  or 
from  any  sacrifice." 

"A  wonderful  sacrifice,  indeed,"  returned  Philip,  "to 
desert  a  wretched  country  to  come  to  a  beautiful  one,  where 
a  greater  effect  can  be  produced  for  one  crown  than  can  be 
procured  elsewhere  for  four!  Extraordinary  devotion, 
really,  to  travel  a  hundred  leagues  in  company  with  a  woman 
one  is  in  love  with?" 

"In  love,  Philip!  think  what  you  are  saying.  Who  is  in 
love  with  madame?" 

"The  handsome  Duke  of  Buckingham.  Perhaps  you  will 
defend  him  as  well?" 

Anne  of  Austria  blushed  and  smiled  at  the  same  time. 
The  name  of  the  Duke  of  Buckingham  recalled  certain 
recollections  to  her  of  a  tender  and  melancholy  nature. 

TEN    YEARS    LATER,  111 

"The  Duke  of  Buckingham?"  she  murmured. 

"Yes;  one  of  those  feather-bed  soldiers '^ 

"The  Buckinghams  are  loyal  and  brave,"  said  Anne  of 
Austria  courageously. 

"This  is  too  bad;  my  own  mother  takes  the  part  of  my 
wife's  lover  against  me!"  exclaimed  Philip,  incensed  to 
such  an  extent  that  his  weak  organization  was  affected 
almost  to  tears. 

"Philip,  my  son,  "exclaimed  Anne  of  Austria,  "such  an 
expression  is  unworthy  of  you.  Your  wife  has  no  lover; 
and,  had  she  one,  it  would  not  be  the  Duke  of  Buckingham. 
The  members  of  that  family,  I  repeat,  are  loyal  and  dis- 
creet, and  the  rights  of  hospitality  are  sure  to  be  respected 
by  them." 

"The  Duke  of  Buckingham  is  an  Englishman,  madame," 
said  Philip;  "and  may  I  ask  if  the  English  so  very  reli- 
giously respect  what  belongs  to  princes  of  France?" 

Anne  blushed  a  second  time,  and  turned  aside  under  the 
pretext  of  taking  her  pen  from  her  desk  again,  but  really 
to  conceal  her  blushes  from  her  son. 

"Really,  Philip,"  she  said,  "you  seem  to  discover  expres- 
sions for  the  purpose  of  embarrassing  me,  and  your  anger 
blinds  you  while  it  alarms  me;  reflect  a  little." 

"There  is  no  need  of  reflection,  madame,  for  I  see  with 
my  own  eyes." 

"Well,  and  what  do  you  see?" 

"That  Buckingham  never  quits  my  wife.  He  presumes 
to  make  presents  to  her,  and  she  ventures  to  accept  them. 
Yesterday  she  was  talking  about  sachets  a  la  violette;  well, 
our  French  perfumers,  you  know  very  well,  madame,  for 
you  have  over  and  over  again  asked  for  it  without  success — • 
our  French  perfumers,  I  say,  have  never  been  able  to  pro- 
cure this  scent.  The  duke,  however,  wore  about  him  a 
sachet  a  la  violette,  and  I  am  sure  that  the  one  my  wife  has 
came  from  him." 

"Indeed,  monsieur,"  said  Anne  of  Austria,  "you  build 
your  pyramids  upon  needle  points.  Be  careful.  What 
liarm,  I  ask  you,  can  there  be  in  a  man  giving  to  his  coun- 
trywoman a  recipe  for  a  new  essence?  These  strange  ideas, 
I  protest,  painfully  recall  your  father  to  me;  he  who  so 
frequently  and  so  unjustly  made  me  suffer." 

"The  Duke  of  Buckingham's  father  was  probably  more 
reserved  and  more  respectful  than  his  son,"  said  Philip 
thoughtlessly,  not  perceiving  how  deeply  he  had  wounded 
his  mother's  feelings. 

112  TEN"    YEARS    LATER. 

The  queen  turned  pale,  and  pressed  her  clinched  hand 
upon  her  bosom;  but,  recovering  herself  immediately,  she 

"You  came  here  with  some  intention  or  another,  I  sup- 


"What  was  it?" 

"1  came,  madame,  intending  to  complain  energetically, 
and  to  inform  you  that  I  will  not  submit  to  anything  from 
the  Duke  of  Buckingham." 

"What  do  you  intend  to  do,  then?" 

"I  shall  complain  to  the  king." 

"And  what  do  you  expect  the  king  to  reply?" 

"Very  well,  then,"  said  Monsieur,  with  an  expression  of 
stern  determination  on  his  countenance,  which  offered  a 
singular  contrast  to  its  usual  gentleness.  "Very  well.  I 
will  right  myself." 

"What  do  you  call  righting  yourself?"  inquired  Anne  of 
Austria,  in  alarm. 

"I  will  have  the  Duke  of  Buckingham  quit  the  princess, 
I  will  have  him  quit  France,  and  I  will  see  that  my  wishes 
are  intimated  to  him." 

"You  will  intimate  nothing  of  the  kind,  Philip,"  said  the 
queen;  "for  if  you  act  in  that  manner,  and  violate  hospital- 
ity to  that  extent,  1  will  invoke  the  severity  of  the  king 
against  you." 

"Do  you  threaten  me,  madame?"  exclaimed  Philip,  in 
tears;  "do  you  threaten  me  in  the  midst  of  my  complaints?" 

"I  do  not  threaten  you;  I  do  but  place  an  obstacle  in  the 
path  of  your  hasty  anger.  I  maintain  that,  to  adopt  toward 
the  Duke  of  Buckingham,  or  any  other  Englishman,  any 
rigorous  measure — to  take  even  a  discourteous  step  toward 
him,  would  be  to  hurry  France  and  England  into  the  sad- 
dest variances.  Can  it  be  possible  that  a  prince  of  the 
blood,  the  brother  of  the  King  of  France,  does  not  know 
how  to  hide  an  injury,  even  did  it  exist  in  reality,  where 
political  necessity  requires  it?" 

Philip  made  a  movement. 

"Besides,"  continued  the  queen,  "the  injury  is  neither 
true  nor  possible,  and  it  is  merely  a  matter  of  silly  jealousy." 

"Madame,  I  know  what  I  know." 

"Whatever  you  may  know,  I  can  only  advise  you  to  be 

"I  am  not  patient  by  disposition,  madame." 

The  queen  rose,  full  of  severity,  and  with  an  icy,  cere- 
monious manner. 

TEN    YEARS   LATER.  113 

"Explain  what  you  really  require,  monsieur,"  she  said. 

"I  do  not  require  anything,  niadame;  I  simply  express 
what  I  desire.  If  the  Duke  of  Buckingham  does  not,  of  his 
own  accord,  discontinue  his  visits  to  my  apartments,  I  shall 
forbid  him  an  entrance." 

"That  is  a  point  you  will  refer  to  the  king,"  said  Anne  of 
Austria,  her  heart  swelling  as  she  spoke,  and  her  voice 
trembling  with  emotion. 

"But,  madame,"  exclaimed  Philip,  striking  his  hands  to- 
gether, "act  as  my  mother  and  not  as  the  queen,  since  I 
speak  to  you  as  a  son;  it  is  simply  a  matter  of  a  few  minutes' 
coi'versation  between  the  duke  and  myself." 

•'It  is  that  conversation  that  I  forbid,"  said  the  queen, 
resuming  her  authority,  "because  it  is  unvv'orthy  of  you." 

"Be  it  so;  I  shall  not  appear  in  the  matter,  but  I  shall 
intimate  my  will  to  madame." 

"Oh!"  said  the  queen-mother,  with  a  melancholy  arising 
from  reflection,  "never  tyrannize  over  a  wife — never  behave 
too  haughtily  or  imperiously  toward  yours.  A  woman,  un- 
willingly convinced,  is  unconvinced." 

"What  is  to  be  done,  then?  I  will  consult  my  friends 
about  it." 

"Yes,  your  hypocritical  advisers,  the  Chevalier  de  Lor- 
raine— your  De  Wardes.  Intrust  the  conduct  of  the  affair 
to  me.  You  wish  the  Duke  of  Buckingham  to  leave,  do 
you  not?" 

"As  soon  as  possible,  madame." 

"Send  the  duke  to  me,  then;  smile  upon  your  wife,  be- 
have to  her,  to  the  king,  to  every  one,  as  usual.  But  follow 
no  advice  but  mine.  Alas!  I  too  well  know  what  a  house- 
hold is  which  is  troubled  by  advisers." 

"You  shall  be  obeyed,  madame." 

"And  you  will  be  satisfied  at  the  result.  Send  the  duke 
to  me." 

"That  will  not  be  difficult." 

"Where  do  you  suppose  him  to  be?" 

"At  my  wife's  door,  whose  levee  he  is  probably  awaiting." 

"Very  well,"  said  Anne  of  Austria  calmly.  "Be  good 
enough  to  tell  the  duke  that  I  beg  him  to  come  and  see 

Philip  kissed  his  mother's  hand,  and  set  off  to  find  the 
Duke  of  Buckingham. 

114  TEN   YEARS    LATER. 



The  Duke  of  Buckingham,  obedient  to  the  queen- 
mother's  invitation,  presented  himself  in  her  apartments 
half  an  hour  after  the  departure  of  the  Due  d' Orleans. 
"When  his  name  was  announced  by  the  gentleman-usher  in 
attendance,  the  queen,  who  was  sitting  with  her  elbow  rest- 
ing on  a  table,  and  her  head  buried  in  her  hands,  rose,  and 
smilingly  received  the  graceful  and  respectful  salutation 
which  the  duke  addressed  to  her.  Anne  of  Austria  was 
still  beautiful.  It  is  well  known  that  at  her  then  somewhat 
advanced  age  her  long  auburn  hair,  perfectly  formed  hands, 
and  bright  ruby  lips  were  still  the  admiration  of  all  who 
saw  her.  On  the  present  occasion,  abandoned  entirely  to  a 
remembrance  which  evoked  all  the  past  in  her  heart,  she 
was  as  beautiful  as  in  the  days  of  her  youth,  when  her 
palace  was  open  to  the  visits  of  the  Duke  of  Buckingham's 
father,  then  a  young  and  impassioned  man,  as  well  as  an 
unfortunate  one,  who  lived  but  for  her  alone,  and  who  died 
with  her  name  upon  his  lips.  Anne  of  Austria  fixed  upon 
Buckingham  a  look  so  tender  in  its  expression  that  it  de- 
noted not  alone  the  indulgence  of  maternal  affection,  but  a 
gentleness  of  expression  like  the  coquetry  of  a  woman  who 

"Your  majesty,"  said  Buckingham  respectfully,  "desired 
to  speak  to  me." 

"Yes,  duke,"  said  the  queen,  in  English;  "will  you  be 
good  enough  to  sit  dovi'n?" 

The  favor  which  Anne  of  Austria  thus  extended  to  the 
young  man,  and  the  vv'elcome  sound  of  the  language  of  a 
country  from  which  the  duke  had  been  estranged  since  his 
stay  in  France,  deeply  affected  him.  He  immediately  con- 
jectured that  the  queen  had  a  request  to  make  of  him. 
After  having  abandoned  the  few  first  moments  to  the  irre- 
pressible emotions  she  experienced,  the  queen  resumed  the 
smiling  air  with  which  she  had  received  him. 

"What  do  you  think  of  France?"  she  said,  in  French. 

"It  is  a  lovely  country,  madame,"  replied  the  duke. 

"Had  you  ever  seen  it  before?" 

"Once  only,  madame." 

"But,  like  all  true  Englishmen,  you  prefer  England?" 

"I  prefer  my  own  native  land  to  France,"  replied  the 
duke;  "but  if  your  majesty  were  to  ask  me  which  of  the 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  115 

two  cities,  London  or  Paris,  I  should  prefer  as  a  residence, 
I  should  reply,  Paris." 

Anne  of  Austria  observed  the  ardent  manner  with  which 
these  words  had  been  pronounced. 

"I  am  told,  my  lord,  you  have  rich  possessions  in  your 
own  country,  and  that  you  live  in  a  splendid  and  time- 
honored  palace." 

"It  was  my  father's  residence,"  replied  Buckingham, 
casting  down  his  eyes. 

"Those  are  indeed  great  advantages  and  souvenirs,"  re- 
plied the  queen,  alluding,  in  spite  of  herself,  to  recollec- 
tions from  which  it  is  impossible  voluntarily  to  detach  one's 

"In  fact,''  said  the  duke,  yielding  to  the  melancholy  in- 
fluence of  this  opening  conversation,  "sensitive  persons  live 
as  much  in  the  past  or  the  future  as  in  the  present." 

"That  is  very  true,"  said  the  queen,  in  a  low  tone  of 
voice.  "It  follows,  then,  my  lord,"  she  added,  "that  you, 
who  are  a  man  of  feeling,  will  soon  quit  France  in  order  to 
shut  yourself  uj)  with  your  wealth  and  your  relics  of  the 

Buckingham  raised  his  head,  and  said: 

"I  think  not,  madame." 

"What  do  you  mean?" 

"On  the  contrary,  I  think  of  leaving  England  in  order  to 
take  up  my  residence  in  France." 

It  was  now  Anne  of  Austria's  turn  to  exhibit  surprise. 

"Why?"  she  said.  "Are  you  not  in  favor  with  the  new 

"Perfectly  so,  madame,  for  his  majesty's  kindness  to  me 
is  unbounded." 

"It  cannot  be,"  said  the  queen,  "because  your  fortune 
has  diminished,  for  it  is  said  to  be  enormous." 

"My  fortune,  madame,  has  never  been  more  thriving." 

"There  is  some  secret  cause,  then?" 

"No,  madame,"  said  Buckingham  eagerly;  "there  is 
nothing  secret  in  my  reason  for  this  determination.  I  like 
the  residence  in  France;  I  like  a  court  so  distinguished  by 
its  refinement  and  courtesy;  I  like  the  amusements,  some- 
what serious  in  their  nature,  which  are  not  the  amusements 
of  my  own  country,  and  which  are  met  with  in  France." 

Anne  of  Austria  smiled  shrev>'dly. 

"Amusements  of  a  serious  nature?"  she  said.  "Has 
your  grace  well  reflected  on  their  seriousness?" 

The  duke  hesitated. 

116  TEK    YEARS   LATER. 

''There  is  no  amusement  so  serious/'  continued  the 
queen,  "as  should  prevent  a  man  of  your  rank " 

"Your  majesty  seems  to  insist  greatly  on  that  point," 
interrupted  the  duke. 

"Do  you  think  so,  my  lord?" 

"If  your  majesty  will  forgive  me  for  saying  so,  it  is  the 
second  time  you  have  vaunted  the  attractions  of  England 
at  the  expense  of  the  delight  vs^hich  all  experience  who  live 
in  France." 

Anne  of  Austria  approached  the  young  man,  and  placing 
her  beautiful  hand  upon  his  shoulder,  which  trembled  at  the 
touch,  said: 

"Believe  me,  monsieur,  nothing  can  equal  a  residence  in 
one's  own  native  country.  I  have  very  frequently  had  occa- 
sion to  regret  Spain.  I  have  lived  long,  my  lord,  very  long 
for  a  woman,  and  I  confess  to  you  that  not  a  year  has  passed 
that  I  have  not  regretted  Spain." 

"Not  one  year,  madame?"  said  the  young  duke  coldly. 
"Not  one  of  those  years  when  you  reigned  Queen  of  Beauty 
— -as  you  still  are,  indeed?" 

"A  truce  to  flattery,  duke,  for  I  am  old  enough  to  be 
your  mother." 

She  emj)hasized  these  latter  words  in  a  manner  and  with 
a  gentleness  which  penetrated  Buckingham's  heart. 

"Yes,"  she  said;  "I  am  old  enough  to  be  your  mother; 
and  for  this  reason  I  will  give  you  a  word  of  advice." 

"That  advice  being  that  I  should  return  to  London?" 
he  exclaimed. 

"Yes,  my  lord." 

The  duke  clasped  his  hands  with  a  terrified  gesture, 
which  could  not  fail  of  its  effect  upon  the  queen,  already 
disposed  to  softer  feelings  by  the  tenderness  of  her  own 

"It  must  be  so,"  added  the  queen. 

"What!"  he  again  exclaimed,  "am  I  seriously  told  that 
I  must  leave — that  I  must  exile  myself — that  I  am  to  flee  at 

"Exile  yourself,  did  you  say?  One  would  fancy  France 
was  your  native  country." 

"Madame,  the  country  of  those  who  love  is  the  country 
of  those  whom  they  love." 

"Not  another  word,  my  lord;  you  forget  whom  you  are 

Buckingham  threw  himself  on  his  knees. 

"Madame,  you  are  the  source  of  intelligence,  of  goodness. 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  117 

and  of  compassion;  you  are  the  first  person  in  this  kingdom, 
not  only  by  your  rank,  but  the  first  person  in  the  world  on 
account  of  your  angelic  attributes.  I  have  said  nothing, 
madame.  Have  I,  indeed,  said  anything  for  which  you 
could  answer  me  by  such  a  cruel  remark?  Can  I  have  be- 
trayed myself?" 

"You  have  betrayed  yourself,"  said  the  queen,  in  a  low 
tone  of  voice. 

"I  have  said  nothing — I  know  nothing." 

"You  forget  you  have  spoken  and  thought  in  the  presence 
of  a  woman;  and  besides- " 

"Besides,"  said  the  duke,  "no  one  knows  you  are  listen- 
ing to  me." 

"On  the  contrary,  it  is  known;  you  have  all  the  defects 
and  all  the  qualities  of  youth." 

"I  have  been  betrayed  or  denounced,  then!" 

"By  whom?" 

"By  those  who,  at  Havre,  had,  with  infernal  perspicacity, 
read  my  heart  like  an  open  book." 

"I  do  not  know  whom  you  mean." 

"Monsieur  de  Bragelonne,  for  instance." 

"I  know  the  name  without  being  acquainted  with  the 
person  to  whom  it  belongs.  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne  has 
said  nothing." 

"Who  can  it  be,  then?  If  any  one,  madame,  had  had 
the  boldness  to  notice  in  me  that  which  I  do  not  myself 
wish  to  behold " 

"What  would  you  do  duke?" 

"There  are  secrets  which  kill  those  who  discover  them." 

"He,  then,  who  has  discovered  your  secret,  madman  that 
you  are,  still  lives;  and,  what  is  more,  you  will  not  slay 
him,  for  he  is  armed  on  all  sides;  he  is  a  husband,  a  jealous 
man — he  is  the  second  gentleman  in  France — he  is  my  son, 
the  Due  d' Orleans." 

The  duke  turned  pale  as  death. 

"You  are  very  cruel,  madame,"  he  said. 

"You  see,  Buckingham,"  said  Anne  of  Austria  sadly, 
"how  you  pass  from  one  extreme  to  another,  and  fight  with 
shadows,  when  it  would  seem  so  easy  to  remain  at  peace 
with  yourself." 

"If  we  fight,  madame,  we  die  on  the  field  of  battle,"  re- 
plied the  young  man  gently,  abandoning  himself  to  the 
most  gloomy  depression.  Anne  ran  toward  him  and  took 
him  by  the  hand. 

"Villiers,"  she   said,  in   English,  with   a   vehemence   of 

118  TEN    TEAES    LATER. 

tone  which  nothing  could  resist,  "what  is'it  yon  ask?  Do 
you  ask  a  mother  to  sacrifice  her  son — a  queen  to  consent  to 
the  dishonor  of  her  house?  Child  that  you  are,  do  not 
think  of  it.  Wliat!  in  order  to  spare  your  tears  am  I  to 
commit  these  two  crimes?  Villiers,  you  speak  of  the  dead; 
the  dead,  at  least,  Avere  full  of  respect  and  submission;  they 
resigned  themselves  to  an  order  of  exile;  they  carried  their 
despair  away  with  them  in  their  hearts,  like  a  i^riceless  pos- 
session, because  the  despair  was  caused  by  the  woman  they 
loved,  and  because  death,  thus  deceptive,  was  like  a  gift  or 
a  favor  conferred  upon  them." 

Buckingham  rose,  his  features  distorted,  and  his  hands 
pressed  against  his  heart. 

''You  are  right,  madame,"  he  said,  "but  those  of  whom 
you  speak  had  received  their  order  of  exile  from  the  lips  of 
the  one  whom  they  loved;  they  were  not  driven  away;  they 
were  entreated  to  leave,  and  were  not  laughed  at." 

"No,"  murmured  Anne  of  Austria,  "they  were  not  for- 
gotten. But  who  says  you  are  driven  away,  or  that  you  are 
exiled?  Who  says  that  your  devotion  will  not  be  remem.- 
bered?  I  do  not  speak  on  any  one's  behalf  but  my  own, 
when  I  tell  you  to  leave.  Do  me  this  kindness — grant  me 
this  favor;  let  me,  for  this  also,  be  indebted  to  one  of  your 

"It  is  for  your  sake,  then,  madame?" 

"For  mine  alone." 

"No  one  whom  I  shall  leave  behind  me  will  venture  to 
mock — no  prince  even  who  shall  say,  'I  required  it.'  " 

"Listen  to  me,  duke;"  and  hereupon  the  dignified  fea- 
tures of  the  queen  assumed  a  solemn  expression.  "I  sw'ear 
to  you  that  no  one  commands  in  this  matter  but  myself.  I 
swear  to  you  that  not  only  shall  no  one  either  laugh  or 
boast  in  any  way,  but  no  one  even  shall  fail  in  the  respect 
due  to  your  rank.  Eely  upon  me,  duke,  as  I  rely  upon 

"You  do  not  explain  yourself,  madame;  my  heart  is  full 
of  bitterness,  and  I  am  in  utter  despair;  no  consolation, 
however  gentle  and  affectionate,  can  afford  me  relief." 

"Do  you  remember  your  mother,  duke?"  replied  the 
queen,  with  a  winning  smile. 

"Very  slightly,  madame;  yet  I  remember  how  she  used  to 
cover  me  with  her  caresses  and  her  tears  whenever  I  w^ept." 

"Villiers,"  murmured  the  queen,  passing  her  arm  round 
the  young  man's  neck,  "look  upon  me  as  your  mother,  and 
believe  that  no  one  shall  ever  make  my  son  weep." 

TEN    YEAKS    LATER.  119 

"I  thank  you,  madame,"  said  the  young  man,  affected 
and  almost  suffocated  by  his  emotion.  "I  feel  there  is 
indeed  still  room  in  my  heart  for  a  gentler  and  nobler 
sentiment  than  love." 

The  queen-mother  looked  at  him  and  pressed  his  hand. 

"Go,"  she  said. 

"When  must  I  leave?     Command  me." 

"At  any  time  that  may  suit  you,  my  lord,"  resumed  the 
queen.  "You  will  choose  your  own  day  of  departure.  In- 
stead, however,  of  setting  olf  to-day,  as  you  would  doubtless 
wish  to  do,  or  to-morrow,  as  others  may  have  expected, 
leave  the  day  after  to-morrow,  in  the  evening;  but  announce 
to-day  that  it  is  your  wish  to  leave." 

"My  wish?"  murmured  the  young  duke. 

"Yes,  duke." 

"And  shall  I  never  return  to  France?" 

Anne  of  Austria  reflected  for  a  moment,  seemingly  ab- 
sorbed in  sad  and  serious  thought.  "It  would  be  a  consola- 
tion for  me,"  she  said,  "if  you  were  to  return  on  the  day 
when  I  shall  be  carried  to  my  final  resting-place  at  St. 
Denis,  beside  the  king,  my  husband." 

"Madame,  you  are  goodness  itself;  the  tide  of  prosperity 
is  setting  in  on  you;  your  cup  brims  over  with  happiness, 
and  many  long  years  are  yet  before  you." 

"In  that  case,  you  will  not  come  for  some  time,  then," 
said  the  queen,  endeavoring  to  smile. 

"I  shall  not  return,"  said  Buckingham,  "young  as  I  am. 
Death  does  not  reckon  my  years;  it  is  impartial;  some  die 
young,  others  live  on  to  old  age." 

"I  will  not  allow  any  sorrowful  ideas,  duke.  Let  me 
comfort  you;  return  in  two  years.  1  perceive  from  your 
face  that  the  very  ideas  which  sadden  you  so  much  now  v.'ill 
have  disappeared  before  six  months  shall  have  passed,  and 
will  be  all  dead  and  forgotten  in  the  period  of  absence  I 
have  assigned  you," 

"I  think  you  judged  me  better  a  little  while  since,  ma- 
dame,"  replied  the  young  man,  "when  you  said  that  time 
is  powerless  against  members  of  the  family  of  Buckingham." 

"Silence,"  said  the  queen,  kissing  the  duke  uj)on  the 
forehead  with  an  affection  she  could  not  restrain.  "Go, 
go;  spare  me,  and  forget  yourself  no  longer.  I  am  the 
queen;  you  are  the  subject  of  the  King  of  England;  King 
Charles  awaits  your  return.     Adieu,  Villiers — farewell." 

"Forever!"  replied  the  young  man;  and  he  fled,  endeav- 
oring to  master  his  emotion. 

120  TElSr   YEARS    LATER. 

Anne  leaned  her  head  u^Don  her  hands,  and  then,  looking 
at  herself  in  the  glass,  mnrmured: 

"It  has  been  truly  said  that  a  woman  is  always  young, 
and  that  the  age  of  twenty  years  always  lies  concealed  in 
some  secret  corner  of  the  heart." 



Raoul  and  the  Oomte  de  la  Fere  reached  Paris  the  even- 
ing of  the  same  day  on  which  Buckingham  had  had  the  con- 
versation with  the  queen-mother.  The  count  had  scarcely 
arrived,  when,  through  Raoul,  he  solicited  an  audience  of 
the  king. 

His  majesty  had  passed  a  portion  of  the  morning  in  look- 
ing over,  with  madame  and  the  ladies  of  the  court,  various 
goods  of  Lyons  manufacture,  of  which  he  had  made  his 
sister-in-law  a  present.  A  court  dinner  had  succeeded, 
then  cards,  and  afterward,  according  to  his  usual  custom, 
the  king,  leaving  the  card-tables  at  eight  o'clock,  passed 
into  the  cabinet  in  order  to  work  with  Mo  Colbert  and  M. 
Fouquet.  Raoul  entered  the  antechamber  at  the  very 
moment  the  two  ministers  quitted  it,  and  the  king,  perceiv- 
ing him  through  the  half-closed  door,  said: 

"What  do  you  want.  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne?" 

The  young  man  approached: 

"An  audience,  sire,"  he  replied,  "for  the  Comte  de  la 
Fere,  who  has  just  arrived  from  Blois,  and  is  most  anxious 
to  have  an  interview  with  your  majesty." 

"I  have  an  hour  to  spare  between  cards  and  my  supper," 
said  the  king.     "Is  the  Comte  de  la  Fere  ready?" 

"He  is  below,  and  awaits  your  majesty's  commands." 

"Let  him  come  at  once,"  said  the  king;  and  five  minutes 
afterward  Athos  entered  the  presence  of  Louis  XIV. 

He  was  received  by  the  king  with  that  gracious  kindness 
of  manner  which  Louis,  with  a  tact  beyond  his  years,  re- 
served for  the  purpose  of  gaining  those  who  were  not  to  be 
conquered  by  ordinary  favors. 

"Let  me  hope,  comte,"  said  the  king,  "that  you  have 
come  to  ask  me  for  something." 

TEN    YEAKS    LATER.  121 

"1  will  not  conceal  from  your  majesty,"  replied  the 
comte,  "that  I  am  indeed  come  for  that  purpose." 

"That  is  well,  then,"  said  the  king  joyously. 

"It  is  not  for  myself,  sire." 

"So  much  the  worse;  but  at  least,  I  will  do  for  your 
protege  what  you  refuse  to  permit  me  to  do  for  you." 

"Your  majesty  encourages  me.  I  have  come  to  speak  on 
behalf  of  the  Vicomte  de  Brageloune." 

"It  is  the  same  as  if  you  spoke  on  your  own  behalf, 

"Not  altogether  so,  sire.  1  am  desirous  of  obtaining- 
from  your  majesty  that  which  I  cannot  do  for  myself.  The 
vicomte  thinks  of  marrying." 

"He  is  still  very  young;  but  that  does  not  matter.  He 
is  an  eminently  distinguished  man.  I  will  choose  a  wife  for 

"He  has  already  chosen  one,  sire,  and  only  awaits  your 
majesty's  consent." 

"It  is  only  a  question,  then,  of  signing  the  marriage  con- 

Athos  bowed. 

"Has  he  chosen  a  wife  whose  fortune  and  position  accord 
with  your  own  views?" 

Athos  hesitated  for  a  moment. 

"His  affianced  wife  is  of  good  birth,  but  has  no  fortune." 

"That  is  a  misfortune  which  we  can  remedy." 

"You  overwhelm  me  with  gratitude,  sire;  but  your 
majesty  will  permit  me  to  offer  a  remark," 

"Do  so,  comte." 

"Your  majesty  seems  to  intimate  an  intention  of  giving 
a  marriage  portion  to  this  young  girl." 


"I  should  regret,  sire,  if  the  step  I  have  taken  toward 
your  majesty  should  be  attended  by  this  result." 

"No  false  delicacy,  comte.     What  is  the  bride's  name?" 

"Mademoiselle  la  Baume  le  Blanc  de  la  Valliere,"  said 
Athos  coldly, 

"I  seem  to  know  that  name,"  said  the  king,  as  if  reflect- 
ing; "there  was  a  Marquis  de  la  Valliere." 

"Yes,  sire;  it  is  his  daughter." 

"But  he  died,  and  his  widow  married  again  Monsieur  de 
St.  Remy,  I  think,  steward  of  the  dowager  madame's  house- 

"Your  majesty  is  correctly  informed." 

"More  than  that,  the  youug  lady  has  lately  become  one 
of  the  princess'  maids  of  honor." 
Dumas — Vol.  X.V.  6 

122  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

"Your  majesty  is  better  acquainted  with  her  history  than 
I  am." 

The  king  again  reflected,  and  glancing  at  the  comte's 
anxious  countenance,  said: 

"The  young  lady  does  not  seem  to  me  to  be  very  pretty, 

"I  am  not  quite  sure,"  replied  Athos. 

"I  have  seen  her,  but  she  did  not  strike  me  as  being  so.^' 

"She  seems  to  be  a  good  and  modest  girl,  but  has  little 
beauty,  sire." 

"Beautiful  fair  hair,  however." 

"I  think  so." 

"And  her  blue  eyes  are  tolerably  good." 

"Yes,  sire." 

"With  regard  to  beauty,  then,  the  match  is  but  an  ordi- 
nary one.     Now  for  the  money  side  of  the  question." 

"Fifteen  to  twenty  thousand  francs  dowry  at  the  very 
outside,  sire;  the  lovers  are  disinterested  enough;  for  my- 
self,  I  care  little  for  money." 

"l^'or  superfluity,  you  mean;  but  a  needful  amount  is  of 
importance.  With  fifteen  thousand  francs,  without  landed 
property,  a  woman  cannot  live  at  court.  We  will  make  up 
the  deficiency;  I  will  do  it  for  De  Bragelonne." 

The  king  again  remarked  the  coldness  with  which  Athos 
received  the  remark. 

"Let  us  pass  from  the  question  of  money  to  that  of  rank," 
said  Louis  XIV.;  "the  daughter  of  the  Marquis  de  la  Val- 
liere,  that  is  well  enough;  but  there  is  that  excellent  St. 
Piemy,  who  somewhat  damages  the  credit  of  the  family; 
and  you,  comte,  are  rather  particular,  I  believe,  about  your 
own  family." 

"Sire,  I  no  longer  hold  to  anything  but  my  devotion  to 
your  majesty." 

The  king  again  paused. 

"A  moment,  comte.  You  have  surprised  me  in  no  little 
degree  from  the  beginning  of  your  conversation.  You 
came  to  ask  me  to  authorize  a  marriage,  and  you  seem 
greatly  disturbed  in  having  to  make  the  request.  Nay,  par- 
don me,  comte,  but  I  am  rarely  deceived,  young  as  I  am; 
for  while  with  some  persons  I  place  my  friendship  at  the 
disposal  of  my  understanding,  with  others  I  call  my  distrust 
to  my  aid,  by  which  my  discernment  is  increased.  I  repeat, 
that  you  do  not  prefer  your  request  as  though  you  wished 
its  success." 

"Well,  sire,  that  is  true." 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  123 

"I  do  not  undorstand  you,  then;  refuse." 

"Nay,  sire;  I  love  De  Bragelonne  with  my  whole  heart; 
he  is  smitten  with  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere;  he  weaves 
dreams  of  bliss  for  the  future;  I  am  not  one  who  is  willing 
to  destroy  the  illusions  of  youth.  This  marriage  is  objec- 
tionable to  me,  but  I  implore  your  majesty  to  consent  to  it 
forthwith,  and  thus  make  Kaoul  happy." 

"Tell  me,  compte,  is  she  in  love  with  him?" 

"If  your  majesty  requires  me  to  speak  candidly,  I  do  not 
believe  in  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere's  affection;  the  de- 
light at  being  at  court,  the  honor  of  being  in  the  service  of 
madame,  counteract  in  her  head  whatever  affection  she  may 
happen  to  have  in  her  heart;  it  is  a  marriage  similar  to 
many  others  which  already  exist  at  court;  but  De  Brage- 
lonne wishes  it,  and  let  it  be  so." 

"And  yet  you  do  not  resemble  those  easy-tempered  fathers 
who  make  slaves  of  themselves  for  their  children,"  said  the 

"I  am  determined  enough  against  the  viciously  disposed, 
but  not  so  against  men  of  upright  character.  Kaoul  is 
suffering,  and  is  in  great  distress  of  mind;  his  disposition, 
naturally  light  and  cheerful,  has  become  gloomy  and  melan- 
choly. I  do  not  wish  to  deprive  your  majesty  of  the  serv- 
ices he  may  be  able  to  render." 

"I  understand  you,"  said  the  king;  "and  what  is  more, 
1  understand  your  heart,  too,  comte." 

"There  is  no  occasion,  therefore,"  replied  the  comte,  "to 
tell  your  majesty  that  my  object  is  to  make  these  children, 
or  rather,  Kaoul,  happy." 

"And  I,  too,  as  much  as  yourself,  comte,  wish  to  secure 
Monsieur  de  Bragelonne's  happiness." 

"I  only  await  your  majesty's  signature.  Kaoul  will  have 
the  honor  of  presenting  himself  before  your  majesty  to 
receive  your  consent." 

"You  are  mistaken,  comte,"  said  the  king  firmly;  "I 
have  just  said  that  I  desire  to  secure  Monsieur  de  Brage- 
lonne's happiness,  and  for  the  present  moment,  therefore, 
I  oppose  his  marriage." 

"But,  sire,"  exclaimed  Athos,  "your  majesty  has 

"Not  so,  comte;  I  did  not  promise  you,  for  it  is  opposed 
to  my  own  views." 

"I  appreciate  all  your  majesty's  considerate  and  generous 
intentions  in  my  behalf;  but  I  take  the  liberty  of  recalling 
to  you  that  I  undertook  to  approach  your  majesty  as  an 

1^4  TEN   TEARS   LATER. 

"An  ambassador,  comte,  frequently  asks,  but  does  not 
always  obtain  what  he  asks." 

"But,  sire,  it  will  be  such  a  blow  for  De  Bragelonne." 

"My  hand  shall  deal  the  blow;  I  will  speak  to  the 

"Love,  sir,  is  overwhelming  in  its  might." 

"Love  can  be  resisted,  comte;  I  myself  can  assure  you  of 

"When  one  has  the  soul  of  a  king — your  own,  for 
instance,  sire." 

"Do  not  make  yourself  uneasy  on  the  subject.  I  have 
certain  views  for  De  Bragelonne;  I  do  not  say  that  he  shall 
not  marry  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere,  but  I  do  not  wish 
him  to  marry  so  young;  I  do  not  wish  him  to  marry  her 
until  she  has  acquired  a  fortune;  and  he,  on  his  side,  no 
less  deserves  my  favor,  such  as  I  wish  to  confer  upon  him. 
In  a  word,  comte,  I  wish  them  to  wait." 

"Yet  once  more,  sire." 

"Comte,  you  told  me  you  came  to  request  a  favor." 

"Assuredly,  sire." 

"Grant  me  one,  then,  instead;  let  us  speak  no  longer 
upon  this  matter.  It  is  probable  that  before  long  war  may 
be  declared;  I  require  men  about  me  who  are  unfettered. 
I  should  hesitate  to  send  under  a  fire  a  married  man,  or  a 
father  of  a  family;  I  should  hesitate  also,  on  De  Brage- 
loune's  account,  to  endow  with  a  -fortune,  without  some 
sound  reason  for  it,  a  young  girl,  a  perfect  stranger;  such 
an  act  would  sow  jealousy  among  my  nobility." 

Athos  bowed,  and  remained  silent. 

"Is  that  all  you  had  to  ask  me?"  added  Louis  XIV. 

"Absolutely  all,  sire;  and  I  take  my  leave  of  your 
majesty.  Is  it,  however,  necessary  that  I  should  inform 

"Spare  yourself  the  trouble  and  annoyance.  Tell  the 
vicomte  that  at  my  levee  to-morrow  morning  I  will  speak 
to  him;  I  shall  expect  you  this  evening,  comte,  to  join  my 

"I  am  in  traveling  costume,  sire." 

"A  day  will  come,  I  hope,  when  you  will  leave  me  no 
more.  Before  long,  comte,  the  monarchy  will  be  established 
in  such  a  manner  as  to  enable  me  to  offer  a  worthy  hospital- 
ity to  all  men  of  your  merit." 

"Provided,  sire,  a  monarch  reigns  truly  great  in  the 
hearts  of  his  subjects,  the  palace  he  inhabits  matters  little, 
since  he  is  worshiped  in  a  temple." 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  135 

With  these  words  Athos  left  the  cabinet,  and  found  De 
Bragelonue,  who  awaited  his  return. 

''Well,  monsieur?"  said  the  young  man. 

"The  king,  Eaoul,  is  well  disposed  toward  us  both;  not, 
perhaps,  in  the  sense  you  suppose,  but  he  is  kind,  and 
generously  disposed  for  our  house." 

"You  have  bad  news  to  communicate  to  me,  monsieur," 
said  the  young  man,  turning  very  pale. 

"The  king  will  himself  inform  you  to-morrow  morning 
that  it  is  not  bad  news." 

"The  king  has  not  signed,  however?" 

"The  king  wishes  himself  to  settle  the  terms  of  the  con- 
tract, and  he  desires  to  make  it  so  grand  that  he  requires 
time  for  it.  Throw  the  blame  rather  on  your  own  impa- 
tience than  on  the  king's  good  feeling  toward  you." 

Eaoul,  in  utter  consternation,  both  on  account  of  his 
knowledge  of  the  count's  frankness  as  well  as  of  his  tact, 
remained  plunged  in  a  dull,  heavy  stupor. 

"Will  you  not  go  with  me  to  my  lodgings?"  said  Athos. 

"I  beg  your  pardon,  monsieur;  I  Avill  follow  you,"  he 
stammered  out,  following  Athos  down  the  staircase. 

"Since  I  am  here,"  said  Athos  suddenly,  "cannot  I  see 
Monsieur  d'Artagnan?" 

"Shall  I  show  you  his  apartments?"  said  De  Bragelonne. 

"Do  so." 

"It  is  on  the  other  staircase." 

They  altered  their  course,  but  as  they  reached  the  land- 
ing of  the  grand  staircase  Eaoul  perceived  a  servant  in  the 
Comte  de  Guiche's  livery,  who  ran  toward  him  as  soon  as 
he  heard  his  voice. 

"What  is  it?"  said  Eaoul. 

"This  note,  monsieur.  My  master  heard  of  your  return, 
and  wrote  to  you  without  delay;  I  have  been  seeking  you 
for  the  last  hour." 

Eaoul  approached  Athos  as  he  unsealed  the  letter,  saying: 

"With  your  permission,  monsieur." 


"Dear  Eaoul,"  said  the  Comte  de  Guiche,  "I  have  an 
affair  in  hand  which  requires  immediate  attention;  I  know 
you  have  returned;  come  to  me  as  soon  as  possible." 

Hardly  had  he  finished  reading  it  when  a  servant  in  the 
livery  of  the  Duke  of  Buckingham,  turning  out  of  the  gal- 
lery, recognized  Eaoul,  and  approached  him  respectfully, 

"From  his  grace,  monsieur." 

126  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

"Well,  Raoul,  as  I  see  you  are  already  as  busy  as  a  general 
of  an  army,  I  shall  leave  you,  and  will  find  Monsieur  d'Ar- 
tagnan  myself." 

"You  will  excuse  me,  I  trust,"  said  Eaoul. 

"Yes,  yes,  I  excuse  you;  adieu,  Eaoul,  You  will  find  me 
at  my  apartments  until  to-morrow;  during  the  day  I  may 
set  out  for  Blois,  unless  1  have  orders  to  the  contrary." 

"I  shall  present  my  respects  to  you  to-morrow,  monsieur." 

When  Athos  had  left,  Raoul  opened  Buckingham's  letter. 

"Monsieur  de  Bragelonne,"  said  the  duke,  "you  are,  of 
all  the  Frenchmen  I  have  known,  the  one  with  whom  I  am 
most  pleased;  I  am  about  to  put  your  friendship  to  the 
proof.  I  have  received  a  certain  message,  written  in  very 
good  French.  As  1  am  an  Englishman,  I  am  afraid  of  not 
comprehending  it  very  clearly.  The  letter  has  a  good  name 
attached  to  it,  and  that  is  all  I  can  tell  you.  Will  you  be 
good  enough  to  come  and  see  me?  for  I  am  told  you  have 
arrived  from  Blois.     Your  devoted, 

"ViLLiERS,  Duke  of  Buckingham." 

"I  am  going  now  to  see  your  master,"  said  Raoul  to  De 
Guiche's  servant  as  he  dismissed  him;  "and  I  shall  be  with 
the  Duke  of  Buckingham  in  an  hour,"  he  added,  dismiss- 
ing with  these  words  the  duke's  messenger. 



Raoul,  on  betaking  himself  to  De  Guiche,  found  him 
conversing  with  De  Wardes  and  Manicamp.  De  Wardes, 
since  the  affair  of  the  barricade,  had  treated  Raoul  as  a 
stranger.  It  might  have  been  imagined  that  nothing  at  all 
had  passed  between  them;  only  they  behaved  as  if  they 
were  not  acquainted.  As  Raoul  entered,  De  Guiche  walked 
up  to  him,  and  Eaoul,  as  he  grasped  his  friend's  hand, 
glanced  rapidly  at  his  two  young  companions,  hoping  to  be 
able  to  read  on  their  faces  what  was  passing  in  their  minds. 
De  Wardes  was  cold  and  impenetrable,  and  Manicamp 
seemed  absorbed  in  the  contemplation  of  some  trimming  to 
his  dress.  De  Guiche  led  Raoul  to  an  adjoining  cabinet, 
and  made  him  sit  down,  saying: 

"How  well  you  look!" 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  127 

"That  is  singular,"  replied  Raoul,  "for  I  am  far  from 
being  in  good  spirits." 

"It  is  your  case,  then,  Eaoul,  as  it  is  my  own,  that  your 
love  affair  does  not  progress  satisfactorily." 

"So  much  the  better,  conite,  as  far  as  you  are  concerned; 
the  worst  news,  that  indeed  which  would  distress  me  most 
of  all,  would  be  good  news." 

"In  that  case,  do  not  distress  yourself,  for  not  only  am 
I  very  unhappy,  but  what  is  more,  I  see  others  about  me 
who  are  happy." 

"Really,  I  do  not  understand  you,"  replied  Raoul;  "ex- 
plain yourself." 

"You  will  soon  learn.  I  have  tried,  but  in  vain,  to  over- 
come the  feeling  which  you  saw  dawn  in  me,  increase  in  me, 
and  take  such  entire  possession  of  my  whole  being.  I  have 
summoned  all  your  advice  and  all  my  own  strength  to  my 
aid.  I  have  well  weighed  the  unfortunate  affair  in  which  I 
have  embarked;  I  have  sounded  its  depths;  that  it  is  an 
abyss,  I  am  well  aware,  but  it  matters  little^  for  /  shall  pur- 
sue my  own  course." 

"This  is  madness,  De  Guiche;  you  cannot  advance  an- 
other step  without  risking  your  own  ruin  to-day,  perhaps 
your  life  to-morrow." 

"Whatever  may  happen,  I  have  done  with  reflections. 

"And  you  hope  to  succeed;  you  believe  that  madame  will 
love  you?" 

"Eaoul,  I  believe  nothing;  I  hope,  because  hope  exists  in 
man,  and  never  abandons  him  till  he  dies." 

"But,  admitting  that  you  obtain  the  happiness  you  covet, 
even  then  you  are  more  certainly  lost  than  if  you  had 
failed  in  obtaining  it." 

"I  beseech  you,  Raoul,  not  to  interrupt  me  any  more; 
you  could  never  convince  me,  for  I  tell  you  beforehand  I 
do  not  wish  to  be  convinced;  I  have  gone  so  far  that  I  can- 
not recede;  I  have  suffered  so  much  that  death  itself  would 
be  a  boon.  I  no  longer  love  to  madness,  Raoul,  I  am  in  a 
perfect  rage  of  jealousy." 

Raoul  struck  both  his  hands  together  with  an  expression 
resembling  anger. 

"Well?"  said  he. 

"Well  or  ill,  matters  little.  This  is  what  I  claim  from 
you,  my  friend,  my  almost  brother.  During  the  last  three 
days  madame  has  been  living  in  a  perfect  intoxication  of 
gayety.     On  the  first  day  I  dared  not  look  at  her;  I  hated 

128  TEN    YEAES    LATER. 

her  for  not  having  been  as  unhappy  as  myself.  The  next 
day  I  could  not  bear  her  out  of  my  sight;  and  she,  Raoul — 
at  least  I  thought  I  remarked  it — she  looked  at  me,  if  not 
with  pity,  at  least  with  gentleness.  But  between  her  looks 
and  mine  a  shadow  intervened;  another's  smile  invited  her 
smile.  Beside  her  horse  another's  always  gallops,  which  is 
not  mine;  in  her  ear  another's  caressing  voice,  not  mine,  un- 
ceasingly vibrates.  Eaoul,  for  three  days  past  my  brain  has 
been  on  fire;  fire  courses  through  my  veins.  That  shadow 
must  be  driven  away,  that  smile  must  be  quenched,  that 
voice  must  be  silenced." 

''You  wish  Monsieur's  death?"  exclaimed  Eaoul. 

"No,  no;  I  am  not  jealous  of  the  husband;  I  am  jealous 
of  the  lover." 

"Of  the  lover?"  said  Eaoul. 

"Have  you  not  observed  it,  you  who  were  formerly  so 

"Are  you  jealous  of  the  Duke  of  Buckingham?" 

"To  the  very  death!" 

"Again  jealous?" 

"This  time  the  affair  will  be  easy  to  arrange  between  us; 
I  have  taken  the  initiative,  and  have  sent  him  a  letter." 

"It  was  you,  then,  who  wrote  to  him?" 

"How  do  you  know  that?" 

"I  know  it,  because  he  told  me  so.  Look  at  this;"  and 
he  handed  to  De  Guiche  the  letter  which  he  had  received 
nearly  at  the  same  moment  as  his  own.  De  Guiche  read  it 
eagerly,  and  said: 

"He  is  a  brave  man,  and  more  than  that,  a  gallant  man." 

"Most  certainly,  the  duke  is  a  gallant  man;  I  need  not 
ask  if  you  wrote  to  him  in  a  similar  style." 

"I  will  show  you  my  letter  when  you  call  on  him  on  my 

"But  that  is  almost  out  of  the  question." 

"What  is?" 

"That  I  should  call  on  him  for  that  purpose." 

"Why  so?" 

"The  duke  consults  me  as  you  do." 

"I  suppose  yott  will  give  me  the  preference.  Listen  to 
me,  Raoul;  I  wish  you  to  tell  his  grace — it  is  a  very  simple 
matter — that  to-day,  to-morrow,  the  following  day,  or  any 
other  day  he  mav  choose,  I  wish  to  meet  him  at  Vincennes." 

"Eeflect,  De  Guiche." 

"I  thought  I  had  already  said  that  I  had  reflected." 

"The  duke  is  a  stranger  here;  he  is  on  a  mission  which 

TEN   YEARS   LATER.  129 

renders  his  person  inviolable.  .  .  .  Vincennes  is  close 
to  the  Bastile." 

"The  consequences  concern  me." 

"But  the  motive  for  this  meeting.  What  motive  do  you 
wish  me  to  assign?" 

"Be  perfectly  easy  on  that  score;  he  will  not  ask  any. 
The  duke  must  be  as  sick  of  me  as  I  am  of  him.  I  implore 
you,  therefore,  to  seek  the  duke,  and  if  it  is  necessary  to 
entreat  him  to  accept  my  offer,  I  will  do  so." 

"That  is  useless.  The  duke  has  already  informed  me 
that  he  wishes  to  speak  to  me.  The  duke  is  now  playing 
cards  with  the  king.  Let  us  both  go  there.  I  will  draw 
him  aside  in  the  gallery;  you  will  remain  aloof.  Two  words 
will  be  sufficient." 

"That  is  well  arranged.  I  shall  take  De  Wardes  to  keep 
me  in  countenance." 

"Why  not  Manicamp?  De  Wardes  can  rejoin  us  at  any 
time;  we  can  leave  him  here." 

"Yes,  that  is  true." 

"He  knows  nothing?" 

"Positively  nothing.  You  continue  still  on  an  unfriendly 
footing,  then?" 

"Has  he  not  told  you  anything?" 


"I  do  not  like  the  man,  and,  as  I  never  liked  him,  the 
result  is,  that  I  am  on  no  worse  terms  with  him  to-day  than 
I  was  yesterday." 

"Let  us  go,  then." 

The  four  descended  the  stairs.  De  Guiche's  carriage  was 
waiting  at  the  door,  and  took  them  to  the  Palais  Koyal. 
As  they  were  going  along  Raoul  was  engaged  in  framing 
some  scheme.  The  sole  depository  of  two  secrets,  he  did 
not  despair  of  concluding  some  arrangement  between  the 
two  parties.  He  knew  the  influence  he  exercised  over 
Buckingham,  and  the  ascendency  he  had  acquired  over  De 
Guiche,  and  affairs  did  not  look  utterly  despairing  to  him. 
On  their  arrival  in  the  gallery,  dazzling  with  the  blaze  of 
light,  where  the  most  beautiful  and  illustrious  women  of 
the  court  moved  to  and  fro,  like  stars  in  their  atmosphere 
of  light,  Raoul  could  not  prevent  himself  for  a  moment 
forgetting  De  Guiche,  in  order  to  seek  out  Louise,  who, 
amid  her  companions,  like  a  dove  completely  fascinated, 
gazed  long  and  fixedly  upon  the  royal  circle,  which  glittered 
with  jewels  and  gold.  All  the  members  of  it  w^ere  standing, 
the  king  alone  being  seated.     Raoul  perceived  Buckingham, 

130  TE]Sr  TEARS   LATEE. 

who  was  standing  a  few  paces  from  Monsieur,  in  a  group  of 
French  and  English,  who  were  admiring  his  haughty  car- 
riage and  the  incomparable  magnificence  of  his  costume. 
Some  few  of  the  older  courtiers  remembered  having  seen 
the  father,  and  their  remembrance  was  in  noway  prejudicial 
to  the  son. 

Buckingham  was  conversing  with  Fouquet,  who  was  talk- 
ing with  him  aloud  of  Belle-Isle. 

''I  cannot  speak  to  him  at  present,"  said  Raoul. 

"Wait,  then,  and  choose  your  opportunity,  but  finish 
everything  speedily.     I  am  on  thorns." 

"See,  our  deliverer  approaches,"  said  Eaoul,  perceiving 
D'Artagnan,  who,  magnificently  dressed  in  his  new  uniform 
of  captain  of  the  musketeers,  had  just  made  his  victorious 
entry  in  the  gallery;  and  he  advanced  toward  D'Artagnan. 

"The  Comte  de  la  Fere  has  been  looking  for  you,  cheva- 
lier," said  Eaoul. 

"Yes,"  replied  D'Artagnan;  "I  have  just  left  him." 

"I  thought  you  would  have  passed  a  portion  of  the  even- 
ing together." 

"We  have  arranged  to  meet  again." 

As  he  answered  Raoul  his  absent  looks  were  directed  on 
all  sides,  as  if  seeking  some  one  in  the  crowd,  or  looking 
for  something  in  the  room.  Suddenly  his  gaze  became 
fixed,  like  that  of  an  eagle  on  its  prey.  Eaoul  followed  the 
direction  of  his  glance,  and  noticed  that  De  Guiche  and 
D'Artagnan  saluted  each  other,  but  he  could  not  distinguish 
at  whom  the  captain's  inquiring  and  haughty  glance  was 

"Chevalier,"  said  Eaoul,  "there  is  no  one  here  but  your- 
self who  can  render  me  a  service." 

"What  is  it,  my  dear  vicomte?" 

"It  is  simply  to  go  and  interrupt  the  Duke  of  Bucking- 
ham, to  whom  I  wish  to  say  two  words,  and,  as  the  duke  is 
conversing  with  Monsieur  Fouquet,  you  understand  that  it 
would  not  do  for  me  to  throw  myself  into  the  middle  of  the 

"Ah I  ah!  is  Monsieur  Fouquet  there?"  inquired  D'Ar- 

"Do  you  not  see  him?" 

"Yes,  now  I  do.  But  do  you  think  I  have  a  greater  right 
than  you  have?" 

"You  are  a  far  more  important  personage." 

"Yes,  you're  right;  I  am  captain  of  the  musketeers;  I 
have  had  the  post  promised  me  so  long,  and  have  enjoyed 

TEN    YEAliS    LATER.  131 

its  dignity  for  so  brief  a  period,  that  I  am  always  forgetting 
my  dignity." 

''You  will  do  me  this  service,  will  you  not?" 

"Monsieur  Fouquet — the  deucel" 

"Are  you  not  on  good  terms  with  him?" 

"It  is  rather  he  who  may  not  be  on  good  terms  with  me; 
however,  since  it  must  be  done  some  day  or  another " 

"Stay;  I  think  he  is  looking  at  you;  or  is  it  likely  that  it 
might  be " 

"No,  no;  don't  deceive  yourself;  it  is  indeed  me  for 
whom  this  honor  is  intended." 

"The  opportunity  is  a  good  one,  then." 

"Do  you  think  so?" 

"Pray,  go!" 

"Well,  I  will." 

De  Guiche  had  not  removed  his  eyes  from  Raoul,  who 
made  a  sign  to  him  that  all  was  arranged.  D'Artagnan 
walked  straight  up  to  the  group,  and  civilly  saluted  M. 
Fouquet  as  well  as  the  others. 

"Good-evening,  Monsieur  d'Artagnan;  we  were  speaking 
of  Belle-Isle,"  said  Fouquet,  with  that  usage  of  society, 
and  that  perfect  knowledge  of  the  language  of  looks,  which 
require  half  a  lifetime  thoroughly  to  acquire,  and  which 
some  persons,  notwithstanding  all  their  study,  never  attain. 

"OfBelle-Isle-en-Mer!  Ah!  ah!"  said  D'Artagnan.  "It 
belongs  to  you,  I  believe,  Monsieur  Fouquet?" 

"Monsieur  Fouquet  has  just  told  me  that  he  had  pre- 
sented it  to  the  king,"  said  Buckingham. 

"Do  you  know  Belle-Isle,  chevalier?"  inquired  Fouquet. 

"I  have  only  been  there  once,"  replied  D'Artagnan,  with 
readiness  and  good-humor. 

"Did  you  remain  there  long?" 

"Scarcely  a  day." 

"Did  you  see  much  of  it  while  you  were  there?" 

"All  that  could  be  seen  in  a  day." 

"A  great  deal  can  be  seen  with  observation  as  keen  as 
yours,"  said  Fouquet;  at  which  D'Artagnan  bowed. 

During  this  Raoul  made  a  sign  to  Buckingham. 

"Monsieur  Fouquet,"  said  Buckingham,  "I  leave  the 
captain  with  you;  he  is  more  learned  than  I  am  in  bastions, 
and  scarps,  and  counter-scarps,  and  I  will  join  one  of  my 
friends,  who  has  just  beckoned  to  me." 

Saying  this,  Buckingham  disengaged  himself  from  the 
group,  and  advanced  toward  Eaoul,  stopping  for  a  moment 
at  the  table  where  the  queen-mother,  the  young  queen,  and 
the  king  were  playing  together. 


'"iSrow,  Raoiil,"  said  De  Guiclie,  "there  he  is;  be  firm 
and  quick," 

Buckingham,  having  made  some  complimentary  remark 
to  madame,  continued  his  way  toward  Eaoul,  who  advanced 
to  meet  him,  while  De  Guiche  remained  in  his  place,  though 
he  followed  him  with  his  eyes.  The  maneuver  was  so 
arranged  that  the  young  men  met  in  an  open  space  which 
was  left  vacant,  between  the  group  of  players  and  the  gal- 
lery, where  they  walked,  sto^Dping  now  and  then  for  the 
purpose  of  saying  a  few  words  to  some  of  the  graver  cour- 
tiers who  were  talking  there.  At  the  moment  when  the 
two  lines  were  about  to  unite,  they  were  broken  by  a  third. 
It  was  Monsieur  who  advanced  toward  the  Duke  of  Buck- 
ingham. Monsieur  had  his  most  engaging  smile  on  his  red 
and  perfumed  lips. 

"My  dear  duke,"  said  he,  with  the  most  affectionate 
politeness,   "is  it  really  true  what  I  have  just  been  told?" 

Buckingham  turned  round;  he  had  not  noticed  Monsieur 
approach,  but  had  merely  heard  his  voice.  He  started,  in 
spite  of  his  command  over  himself,  and  a  slight  pallor  over- 
spread his  face. 

"Monseigneur,"  he  asked,  "what  has  been  told  you  that 
surprises  you  so  much?" 

"That  which  throws  me  into  despair,  and  will,  in  truth, 
be  a  real  cause  of  mourning  for  the  whole  court." 

"Your  highness  is  very  kind,  for  I  perceive  that  you 
allude  to  my  departure." 


Guiche  had  overheard  the  conversation  from  where  he 
was  standing,  and  started  in  his  turn. 

"His  departure,"  he  murmured.     "What  does  he  say?" 

Philip  continued  with  the  same  gracious  air: 

"I  can  easily  conceive,  monsieur,  why  the  King  of  Great 
Britain  recalls  you;  we  all  know  that  King  Charles  II.,  who 
appreciates  true  gentlemen,  cannot  dispense  with  you. 
But  it  cannot  be  supposed  v/e  can  let  you  go  without  great 
regret;  and  I  beg  you  to  receive  the  expression  of  my  own." 

"Believe  me,  monseigneur,"  said  the  duke,  "that  if  I 
quit  the  Court  of  France " 

"It  is  because  you  are  recalled;  but  if  you  should  suppose 
that  the  expression  of  my  own  wish  on  the  subject  might 
possibly  have  some  influence  with  the  king,  I  will  gladly 
volunteer  to  entreat  His  Majesty  Charles  II.  to  leave  you 
with  us  a  little  while  longer." 

"I  am  overwhelmed,  monseigneur,  by  so  much  kindness," 

TEN"   YEARS    LATER.  133 

replied  Buckingham;  ''but  I  have  received  positive  com- 
mands. My  residence  in  France  was  limited;  I  have  pro- 
longed it  at  the  risk  of  displeasing  my  gracious  sovereign. 
It  is  only  this  very  day  that  I  recollected  I  ought  to  have 
set  oil  four  days  ago." 

"Indeed,"  said  Monsieur. 

"Yes,  but,"  added  Buckingham,  raising  his  voice  in  such 
a  manner  that  the  princess  could  hear  him — "but  I  resemble 
that  dweller  in  the  East,  who  turned  mad,  and  remained  so 
for  several  days,  owing  to  a  delightful  dream  that  he  had 
had,  and  who  one  day  awoke,  if  not  completely  cured,  in 
some  respects  rational  at  least.  The  Court  of  France  has 
its  intoxicating  properties,  which  are  not  unlike  this  dream, 
my  lord;  but  at  last  I  wake  and  leave  it.  I  shall  be  unable, 
therefore,  to  prolong  my  residence  as  your  highness  has  so 
kindly  invited  me." 

"When  do  you  leave?"  inquired  Philip,  with  an  expres- 
sion full  of  interest. 

"To-morrow,  monseigneur.  My  carriages  have  been 
ready  for  three  days  past." 

The  Due  d'Orleans  made  a  movement  of  the  head,  Avhich 
seemed  to  signify,  "Since  you  are  determined,  duke,  there 
is  nothing  to  be  said."  Buckingham  returned  the  gesture, 
concealing  under  a  smile  a  contraction  of  his  heart,  and 
then  Monsieur  moved  away  in  the  same  direction  by  which 
he  had  approached.  At  the  same  moment,  however,  De 
Guiche  advanced  from  the  opposite  direction.  Eaoul  feared 
that  the  impatient  young  man  might  possibly  make  the 
proposition  himself,  and  hurried  forward  before  him. 

"No,  no,  Eaoul,  all  is  useless  now,"  said  Guiche,  holding 
both  his  hands  toward  the  duke,  and  leading  him  himself 
behind  a  column.  "Forgive  me,  duke,  for  what  I  wrote  to 
you;  I  was  mad.     Give  me  back  my  letter." 

"It  is  true,"  said  the  duke,  "you  cannot  owe  me  a 
grudge  any  longer  now." 

"Forgive  me,  duke;  my  friendship,  my  lasting  friendship 
is  yours." 

"There  is  certainly  no  reason  why  you  should  bear  me 
any  ill-will  from  the  moment  I  leave  her  never  to  see  her 

Eaoul  heard  these  words,  and  comprehending  that  his 
presence  was  now  useless  between  the  two  young  men,  who 
had  now  only  friendly  words  to  exchange,  withdrew  a  few 
paces;  a  movement  which  brought  him  closer  to  De  Wardes, 
who  v^^as  conversing  with  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine  respect- 
ing the  departure  of  Buckingham. 


"A  wise  retreat,"  said  De  Wardes. 

"Why  so?" 

"Because  the  dear  duke  saves  a  sword-thrust  by  it."' 

At  which  reply  both  began  to  laugh. 

Eaoul,  indignant,  turned  round  frowningly,  flushed  with 
anger  and  his  lii)  curling  with  disdain.  The  Chevalier  de 
Lorraine  turned  away  upon  his  heel,  but  De  Wardes  re- 
mained firm  and  waited. 

"You  will  not  break  yourself  of  the  habit,"  said  Eaoul 
to  De  Wardes,  "of  insulting  the  absent;  yesterday  it  was 
Monsieur  d'Artagnan,  to-day  it  is  the  Duke  of  Bucking- 

"You  know  very  well,  monsieur,"  return  De  Wardes, 
"that  I  sometimes  insult  those  who  are  present." 

De  Wardes  touched  Eaoul,  their  shoulders  met,  their 
faces  were  bent  toward  each  other,  as  if  mutually  to  inflame 
each  other  by  the  fire  of  their  breath  and  of  their  anger.  It 
could  be  seen  that  the  one  was  at  the  height  of  his  anger, 
the  other  at  the  end  of  his  patience.  Suddenly  a  voice  was 
heard  behind  them  full  of  grace  and  courtesy,  saying: 

"I  believe  I  heard  my  name  pronounced." 

They  turned  round  and  saw  D'Artagnan,  who,  with  a 
smiling  eye  and  a  cheerful  face,  had  just  placed  his  hand 
on  De  Wardes'  shoulder.  Eaoul  stepped  back  to  make 
room  for  the  musketeer.  De  Wardes  trembled  from  head 
to  foot,  turned  pale,  but  did  not  move.  D'Artagnan,  still 
with  the  same  smile,  took  the  place  which  Eaoul  abandoned 
to  him. 

"Thank  you,  my  dear  Eaoul,"  he  said.  "Monsieur  de 
Wardes,  I  wish  to  talk  with  you.  Do  not  leave  us,  Eaoul; 
every  one  can  hear  what  I  have  to  say  to  Monsieur  de 

His  smile  immediately  faded  away,  and  his  glance  be- 
came cold  and  sharp  as  a  sn'ord. 

"I  am  at  your  orders,  monsieur,"  said  De  Wardes. 

"For  a  very  long  time,"  resumed  D'Artagnan,  "I  have 
sought  an  opportunity  of  conversing  with  you;  to-day  is  the 
first  time  I  have  found  it.  The  place  is  badly  chosen,  I 
admit,  but  you  will,  perhaps,  have  the  goodness  to  accom- 
pany me  to  my  apartments,  which  are  on  the  staircase  at 
the  end  of  this  gallery." 

"I  follow  you,  monsieur,"  said  De  Wardes. 

"Are  you  alone  here?"  said  D'Artagnan. 

"No;  I  have  Monsieur  Manicamp  and  Monsieur  de 
Guiche,  two  of  my  friends." 

TEN    TEAKS   LATER.  135 

"That's  well,"  said  D'Artagnan;  ''but  two  persons  are 
not  sufficient;  you  will  be  able  to  find  a  few  others,  I  trust." 

"Certainly,"  said  the  yonng  man,  who  did  not  know  the 
object  D'Artagnan  had  in  view.     "As  many  as  you  please." 

"Are  they  friends.*" 

"Yes,  monsieur." 

"Keal  friends?" 

"No  doubt  of  it." 

"Very  well;  get  a  good  supply,  then.  Do  you  come,  too, 
Eaoul;  bring  Monsieur  de  Guiche  and  the  Duke  of  Buck- 

"What  a  disturbance,"  replied  De  Wardes,  attempting  to 
smile.  The  captain  slightly  signed  to  him  with  his  hand, 
as  though  to  recommend  him  to  be  patient,  and  then  led 
the  way  to  his  apartments. 



D'Artagnan's  apartment  was  not  unoccupied;  for  the 
Comte  de  la  Fere,  seated  in  the  recess  of  a  window,  awaited 

"Well,"  said  he  to  D'Artagnan,  as  he  saw  him  enter. 

"Well,"  said  the  latter,  "Monsieur  de  Wardes  has  done 
me  the  honor  to  pay  me  a  visit,  in  company  with  some  of 
his  own  friends,  as  well  as  of  ours."  In  fact,  behind  the 
musketeer  appeared  De  Wardes  and  Manicamp,  followed  by 
De  Guiche  and  Buckingham,  who  looked  surprised,  not 
knowing  what  was  expected  of  them.  Eaoul  was  accom- 
panied by  two  or  three  gentlemen;  and,  as  he  entered, 
glanced  round  the  room,  and  perceiving  the  comte,  he  went 
and  placed  himself  by  his  side.  D'Artagnan  received  his 
visitors  with  all  the  courtesy  he  was  capable  of;  he  preserved 
his  unmoved  and  unconcerned  look.  All  the  persons  pres- 
ent were  men  of  distinction,  occupying  posts  of  honor  and 
credit  at  the  court.  After  he  had  apologized  to  each  of 
them  for  any  inconvenience  he  might  have  put  them  to,  he 
turned  toward  De  Wardes,  who,  in  spite  of  his  great  self- 
command,  could  not  prevent  his  face  betraying  some  sur- 
prise mingled  with  not  a  little  uneasiness. 

"Now,  monsieur,"  said  D'Artagnan,  "since  we  are  no 
longer  within  the  precincts  of  the  king's  palace,  and  since 
we  can  speak  out  without  failing  in  respect  to  propriety,  I 

136  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

will  inform  you  why  I  have  taken  the  liberty  to  request  you 
to  visit  me  here,  and  why  I  have  invited  these  gentlemen  to 
be  present  at  the  same  time.  My  friend,  the  Comte  de  la 
Fere,  has  acquainted  me  with  the  injurious  reports  you  are 
spreading  about  myself.  You  have  stated  that  you  regard 
me  as  your  mortal  enemy,  because  I  was,  so  you  affirm,  that 
of  your  father," 

"Perfectly  true,  monsieur;  I  have  said  so,"  replied  De 
Wardes,  whose  pallid  face  became  slightly  tinged  with  color. 

"You  accuse  me,  therefore,  of  a  crime,  or  a  fault,  or  of 
some  mean  and  cowardly  act.  Have  the  goodness  to  state 
your  charge  against  me  in  precise  terms." 

"In  the  presence  of  witnesses?" 

"Most  certainly  in  the  presence  of  witnesses,  and  you  see 
I  have  selected  them  as  being  experienced  in  affairs  of 

"You  do  not  appreciate  my  delicacy,  monsieur.  I  have 
accused  you,  it  is  true;  but  I  have  kept  the  nature  of  the 
accusatioii  a  perfect  secret.  I  have  not  entered  into  any 
details;  but  have  rested  satisfied  by  expressing  my  hatred 
in  the  presence  of  those  on  whom  a  duty  was  almost  im- 
posed to  acquaint  you  with  it.  You  have  not  taken  the 
discreetness  I  have  shown  into  consideration,  although  you 
were  interested  in  remaining  silent.  I  can  hardly  recognize 
yonr  habitual  prudence  in  that,  Monsieur  d'Artagnan." 

D'Artagnan,  who  was  quietly  biting  the  corner  of  his 
mustache,  said: 

"I  have  already  had  the  honor  to  beg  you  to  state  the 
particulars  of  the  grievances  you  say  you  have  against  me." 


"Certainly,  aloud." 

"In  that  case  I  will  speak." 

"Speak,  monsieur,"  said  D'Artagnan,  bowing;  "we  are 
dll  listening  to  you." 

"Well,  monsieur,  it  is  not  a  question  of  a  personal  injury 
toward  myself,  but  of  one  toward  my  father." 

"That  you  have  already  stated." 

"Yes;  but  there  are  certain  subjects  which  are  only 
approached  with  great  hesitation." 

"If  that  hesitation,  in  your  case,  really  does  exist,  I 
entreat  you  to  overcome  it." 

"Even  if  it  refer  to  a  disgraceful  action?" 

"Yes;  in  every  and  any  case." 

Those  who  were  present  at  this  scene  had  at  first  looked 
at  one  another  with  a  good  deal  of  uneasiness.     They  were 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  137 

reassured,  however,  '.vhen  they  saw  that  D'Artagnan  mani- 
fested no  emotion  whatever.  De  Wardes  still  maintained 
the  same  unbroken  silence. 

"Speak,  monsieur,"  said  the  musketeer;  "you  see  you 
are  keeping  us  waiting." 

"Listen,  then:  My  father  loved  a  woman  of  noble  birth, 
and  this  woman  loved  my  father." 

D'Artagnan  and  Athos  exchanged  looks.  De  Wardes 

"Monsieur  d'Artagnan  found  some  letters  which  indicated 
a  rendezvous,  substituted  himself,  under  disguise,  for  the 
person  who  Avas  expected,  and  took  advantage  of  the  dark- 

"That  is  perfectly  true,"  said  D'Artagnan. 

A  slight  murmur  was  heard  from  those  present. 

"Yes,  I  Avas  guilty  of  that  dishonorable  action.  You 
should  have  added,  monsieur,  since  you  are  so  impartial, 
that,  at  the  period  when  the  circumstance  which  you  Jiave 
just  related  happened,  I  was  not  twenty-one  years  of  age." 

"The  action  is  not  the  less  shameful  on  that  account," 
said  De  Wardes;  "and  it  is  quite  sufficient  for  a  gentleman 
to  have  attained  the  age  of  reason,  to  avoid  committing  any 
act  of  indelicacy." 

A  renewed  murmur  was  heard,  but  this  time  of  astonish- 
ment, and  almost  of  doubt. 

"It  was  a  most  shameful  deception,  I  admit,"  said  D'Ar- 
tagnan, "and  I  have  not  waited  for  Monsieur  de  Wardes' 
reproaches  to  rejDroach  myself  for  it,  and  very  bitterly,  too. 
Age  has,  however,  made  me  more  reasonable,  and,  above 
all,  more  upright;  and  this  injury  has  been  atoned  for  by  a 
long  and  lasting  regret.  But  I  appeal  to  you,  gentlemen; 
this  affair  took  place  in  1626,  at  a  period,  happily  for  your- 
selves, known  to  you  by  tradition  only,  at  a  period  when 
love  was  not  overscrupiTlous,  when  consciences  did  not  dis- 
till, as  in  the  present  day,  poison  and  bitterness.  We  were 
young  soldiers,  always  fighting,  or  being  attacked,  our 
swords  always  in  our  hands,  or  at  least  ready  to  be  drawn 
from  their  sheaths.  Death  then  always  stared  us  in  the 
face,  war  hardened  us,  and  the  cardinal  pressed  us  sorely. 
I  have  repented  of  it,  and,  more  than  that — I  still  repent 
it.  Monsieur  de  Wardes." 

"I  can  well  understand  that,  monsieur,  for  the  action 
itself  needed  repentance;  but  you  were  not  the  less  the 
cause  of  that  lady's  disgrace.  She  of  whom  you  have  been 
speaking,  covered  with  shame,  borne  down  by  the  ailront 

138  TEK   YEARS   LATER. 

you  had  wrought  upon  her,  fled,  quitted  France,  and  no 
one  ever  knew  what  became  of  her." 

"Stay,"  said  the  Comte  de  la  Fere,  stretching  his  hand 
toward  De  Wardes,  with  a  peculiar  smile  upon  his  face, 
"you  are  mistaken;  she  was  seen,  and  there  are  persons 
even  now  present,  who,  having  often  heard  her  spoken  of, 
will  easily  recognize  her  by  the  description  I  am  about  to 
give.  She  was  about  twenty-five  years  of  age,  slender  in 
form,  of  a  pale  complexion,  and  fair-haired;  she  was  mar- 
ried in  England." 

"Married?"  exclaimed  De  Wardes. 

"So,  you  were  not  aware  she  was  married?  You  see,  we 
are  far  better  informed  than  yourself.  Do  you  happen  to 
know  she  was  usually  styled  'my  lady,'  without  the  addi- 
tion of  any  name  to  that  description?" 

"Yes,  I  know  that." 

"Good  heavens!"  murmured  Buckingham. 

"Very  well,  monsieur.  That  woman,  who  came  from 
England,  returned  to  England  after  having  thrice  attempted 
Monsieur  d'Artagnan's  life.  That  was  but  just,  you  will 
say,  since  Monsieur  d'Artagnan  had  insulted  her.  But 
that  which  was  not  just  was  that,  when  in  England,  this 
woman,  by  her  seductions,  completely  enslaved  a  young 
man  in  the  service  of  Lord  Winter,  by  name  Felton.  You 
change  color,  my  lord,"  said  Athos,  turning  to  the  Duke 
of  Buckingham,  "and  your  eyes  kindle  with  anger  and  sor- 
row. Let  your  grace  finish  the  recital,  then,  and  tell  Mon- 
sieur de  Wardes  who  this  woman  was  who  placed  the  knife 
in  the  hand  of  your  father's  murderer." 

A  cry  escaped  from  the  lips  of  all  present.  The  young 
duke  passed  his  handkerchief  across  his  forehead,  Avhich  was 
covered  with  perspiration.  A  dead  silence  ensued  among 
the  spectators. 

"You  see,  Monsieur  de  Wardes,"  said  D'Artagnan,  whom 
this  recital  had  impressed  more  and  more,  as  his  own  recol- 
lection revived  as  Athos  spoke,  "you  see  that  my  crime  did 
not  cause  the  destruction  of  any  one's  soul,  and  that  the 
soul  in  question  may  fairly  be  considered  to  have  been  alto- 
gether lost  before  my  regret.  It  is,  however,  an  act  of  con- 
science on  my  part.  Now  this  matter  is  settled,  therefore, 
it  remains  for  me  to  ask,  with  the  greatest  humility,  your 
forgiveness  for  this  shameless  action,  as  most  certainly  I 
should  have  asked  it  of  your  father,  if  he  were  still  alive, 
and  if  I  had  met  him  after  my  return  to  France,  subsequent 
to  the  death  of  King  Charles  I." 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  139 

"That  is  too  much.  Monsieur  d'Artagnaii,"  exclaimed 
many  voices,  with  animation. 

"No,  gentlemen,"  said  the  captain.  "And  now.  Mon- 
sieur de  Wardes,  I  hope  all  is  finished  between  us,  and  that 
you  will  have  no  further  occasion  to  speak  ill  of  me  again. 
Do  you  consider  it  completely  settled?" 

De  Wardes  bowed,  and  muttered  to  himself  inarticulately. 

"I  trust  also,"  said  D'Artagnan,  approaching  the  young 
man  closely,  "that  you  will  no  longer  speak  ill  of  any  one, 
as  it  seems  you  have  the  unfortunate  habit  of  doing;  for  a 
man  so  puritanically  conscientious  as  you  are,  who  can 
reproach  an  old  soldier  for  a  youthful  freak  thirty-five 
years  after  it  has  happened,  will  allow  me  to  ask  whether 
you,  who  advocate  such  excessive  purity  of  conscience,  will 
undertake,  on  your  side,  to  do  nothing  contrary  either  to 
conscience  or  a  principle  of  honor.  And  now,  listen  atten- 
tively to  what  I  am  going  to  say,  Monsieur  de  Wardes,  in 
conclusion.  Take  care  that  no  tale,  with  which  your  name 
may  be  associated,  reaches  my  ear." 

"Monsieur,"  said  De  Wardes,  "it  is  useless  threatening 
to  no  purpose." 

"I  have  not  yet  finished.  Monsieur  de  Wardes;  and  you 
must  listen  to  me  still  further." 

The  circle  of  listeners,  full  of  eager  curiosity,  drew  closer 

"You  spoke  just  now  of  the  honor  of  a  woman,  and  of 
the  honor  of  your  father.  We  were  glad  to  hear  you  speak 
in  that  manner;  for  it  is  pleasing  to  think  that  such  a  senti- 
ment of  delicacy  and  rectitude,  and  which  did  not  exist,  it 
seems,  in  our  minds,  lives  in  our  children;  and  it  is  delight- 
ful, too,  to  see  a  young  man,  at  an  age  when  men,  from 
habit,  become  the  destroyers  of  the  honor  of  women,  respect 
and  defend  it." 

De  Wardes  bit  his  lip  and  clinched  his  hands,  evidently 
much  disturbed  to  learn  how  this  discourse,  the  commence- 
ment of  which  was  announced  in  so  threatening  a  manner, 
would  terminate. 

"How  did  it  happen,  then,  that  you  allowed  yourself  to 
say  to  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne  that  he  did  not  know  who 
his  mother  was?" 

Eaoul's  eye  flashed,  as,  darting  forward,  he  exclaimed: 

"Chevalier,  this  is  a  personal  affair  of  my  own!" 

At  which  exclamation  a  smile,  full  of  malice,  passed 
across  De  Wardes'  face.  D'Artagnan  put  Eaoui  aside, 

140  TEN"   YEAES    LATER. 

"Do  not  interrupt  me,  young  man."  And  looking  at 
De  Wardes  in  an  authoritative  manner,  he  continued:  "I 
am  now  dealing  with  a  matter  which  cannot  be  settled  by- 
means  of  the  sword.  I  discuss  it  before  men  of  honor,  all 
of  whom  have  more  than  once  had  their  swords  in  their 
hands  in  affairs  of  honor.  I  selected  them  expressly.  These 
gentlemen  well  know  that  every  secret  for  which  men  fight 
ceases  to  be  a  secret.  I  again  put  my  question  to  Monsieur 
de  Wardes.  What  was  the  subject  of  conversation  when 
you  offended  this  young  man,  in  offending  his  father  and 
mother  at  the  same  time?" 

"It  seems  to  me,"  returned  De  Wardes,  "that  liberty  of 
speech  is  allowed,  when  it  is  ready  to  be  supported  by  every 
means  which  a  man  of  courage  has  at  his  disposal." 

"Tell  me  what  the  means  are  by  which  a  man  of  courage 
can  sustain  a  slanderous  expression." 

"The  sword." 

"You  fail,  not  only  in  logic,  in  your  argument,  but  in 
religion  and  honor.  You  expose  the  lives  of  many  others, 
without  referring  to  your  own,  which  seems  to  be  full  of 
hazard.  Besides,  fashions  pass  away,  monsieur,  and  the 
fashion  of  dueling  has  passed  away,  without  referring  in 
any  way  to  the  edicts  of  his  majesty,  which  forbid  it. 
Therefore,  in  order  to  be  consistent  with  your  own  chival- 
rous notions,  you  will  at  once  apologize  to  Monsieur  de 
Bragelonne;  you  will  tell  him  how  much  you  regret  having 
spoken  so  lightly,  and  that  the  nobility  and  purity  of  his 
race  are  inscribed,  not  in  his  heart  alone,  but,  still  more,  in 
every  action  of  his  life.  You  will  do  and  say  this,  Monsieur 
de  AVardes,  as  I,  an  old  officer,  did  and  said  just  now  to 
your  boy's  mustache." 

"And  if  I  refuse?"  inquired  De  Wardes. 

"In  that  case  the  result  will  be " 

"That  which  you  think  you  will  prevent,"  said  De 
Wardes,  laughing;  "the  result  will  be  that  your  conciliatory 
address  will  end  in  a  violation  of  the  king's  prohibition." 

"Not  so,"  said  the  captain;  "you  are  quite  mistaken." 

"What  will  be  the  result,  then?" 

"The  result  will  be  that  I  shall  go  to  the  king,  with  whom 
I  am  on  tolerably  good  terms,  to  whom  I  have  been  happy 
enough  to  render  certain  services,  dating  from  a  period 
when  you  were  not  born,  and  who,  at  my  request,  has  just 
sent  me  an  order  blank  for  Monsieur  Baisemeaux  de  Mon- 
tlezun,  governor  of  the  Bastile;  and  I  shall  say  to  the  king: 
'Sire,  a  man  has  cowardly  insulted  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne 

TEN    YEARS    LATEll.  141 

in  insulting  his  mother;  I  have  written  this  man's  name 
upon  the  lettre  de  cachet  which  your  majesty  has  been  kind 
enough  to  give  me,  so  that  Monsieur  de  Wardes  is  in  the 
Bastile  for  three  years.'  " 

And  D'Artagnan,  drawing  the  order  signed  by  the  king 
from  his  pocket,  held  it  toward  De  Wardes.  Eemarkiug 
that  the  young  man  was  not  quite  convinced,  and  received 
the  warning  as  an  idle  threat,  he  shrugged  his  shoulders, 
and  walked  leisurely  toward  the  table  upon  which  lay  a 
writing-case  and  a  pen,  the  length  of  which  would  have 
terrified  the  topographical  Porthos.  De  Wardes  then  saw 
that  nothing  could  well  be  more  seriously  intended  than 
the  threat  in  question,  for  the  Bastile,  even  at  that  period, 
was  already  held  in  dread.  He  advanced  a  step  toward 
Eaoul,  and,  in  almost  unintelligible  voice,  said: 

"I  offer  my  apologies  in  the  terms  which  Monsieur  d'Ar- 
tagnan  just  now  dictated,  and  which  I  am  forced  to  make 
to  you." 

"One  moment,  monsieur,"  said  the  musketeer,  with  the 
greatest  tranquillity,  "you  mistake  the  terms  of  the  apology. 
I  did  not  say,  'and  which  I  am  forced  to  make;'  I  said, 
'and  which  my  conscience  induces  me  to  make.'  This  lat- 
ter expression,  believe  me,  is  better  than  the  former,  and  it 
will  be  far  preferable,  since  it  will  be  the  most  truthful 
expression  of  your  own  sentiments." 

"I  subscribe  to  it,"  said  De  Wardes;  "but  admit,  gentle- 
men, that  a  thrust  of  a  sword  through  the  body,  as  was  the 
custom  formerly,  was  far  better  than  tyranny  like  this." 

"No,  monsieur,"  replied  Buckingham;  "for  the  sword- 
thrust,  when  received,  was  no  indication  that  a  particular 
person  was  right  or  wrong;  it  only  showed  that  he  was 
more  or  less  skillful  in  the  use  of  the  weapon." 

"Monsieur I"  exclaimed  De  Wardes. 

"There,  noAv,"  interrupted  D'Artagnan,  "you  are  going 
to  say  something  very  rude,  and  I  am  rendering  you  a 
service  in  stopping  you  in  time." 

"Is  that  all,  monsieur?"  inquired  De  Wardes. 

"Absolutely  everything,"  replied  D'Artagnan;  "and 
these  gentlemen,  as  well  as  myself,  are  quite  satisfied  with 

"Believe  me,  monsieur,  that  your  reconciliations  are  not 

"In  what  way?" 

"Because,  as  we  are  now  about  to  separate,  I  would  wager 

142  TEN"  TEARS   LATER. 

that  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne  and  myself  are  greater 
enemies  than  ever." 

''You  are  deceived,  monsieur,  as  far  as  I  am  concerned," 
returned  Eaoul;  "for  I  do  not  retain  the  slightest  animos- 
ity in  my  heart  against  you." 

This  last  blow  overwhelmed  De  Wardes;  he  cast  his  eyes 
around  him  like  a  man  utterly  bewildered.  D'Artagnan 
saluted  most  courteously  the  gentlemen  who  had  been 
present  at  the  explanation;  and  every  one,  on  leaving  the 
room,  shook  hands  with  him;  but  not  one  hand  was  held 
out  toward  De  Wardes. 

"Oh!"  exclaimed  the  young  man,  abandoning  himself  to 
the  rage  which  consumed  him,  "can  I  not  find  some  one  on 
whom  to  "wreak  my  vengeance?" 

"You  can,  monsieur,  for  I  am  here,"  whispered  a  voice 
full  of  menace,  in  his  ear. 

De  Wardes  turned  round,  and  saw  the  Duke  of  Bucking- 
ham, who,  having  probably  remained  behind  with  that  in- 
tention, had  just  approached  him. 

"You,  monsieur?"  exclaimed  De  Wardes. 

"Yes,  I!  I  am  no  subject  of  the  King  of  France;  I  am 
not  going  to  remain  on  the  territory,  since  I  am  about  set- 
ting oS  for  England.  I  haveaccumulated"in  my  heart  such 
a  mass  of  despair  and  rage  that  I,  too,  like  yourself,  need 
to  revenge  myself  upon  some  one.  I  approve  Monsieur 
d'Artagnan's  principles  extremely,  but  I  am  not  bound  to 
apply  them  to  you.  I  am  an  Englishman,  and,  in  my  turn, 
I  propose  to  you  what  you  proposed  to  others  to  no  purpose. 
Since  you,  therefore,  are  so  terribly  incensed,  take  me  as  a 
remedy.  In  thirty-four  hours'  time  I  shall  be  at  Calais. 
Come  with  me;  the  journey  will  appear  shorter  if  together 
than  if  alone.  We  will  fight,  when  we  get  there,  upon  the 
sands  which  are  covered  by  the  rising  tide,  and  which  form 
part  of  the  French  territory  during  six  hours  of  the  day, 
but  belong  to  the  territory  of  heaven  during  the  other  six." 

"I  accept  willingly,"  said  De  Wardes. 

"I  assure  you,"  said  the  duke,  "that  if  you  kill  me  you 
will  be  rendering  me  an  infinite  service." 

"I  will  do  my  utmost  to  be  agreeable  to  you,  duke,"  said 
De  Wardes. 

"It  is  agreed,  then,  that  I  carry  you  ofiE  with  me?" 

"I  shall  be  at  your  commands.  I  required  some  real 
danger  and  some  mortal  risk  to  run  to  tranquilize  me."    ' 

"In  that  case,  I  think  you  have  met  with  what  you  are 
looking   for.     Farewell,    Monsieur   de   Wardes;   to-morrow 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  l43 

morning  my  valet  will  tell  you  the  exact  hour  of  departure; 
we  can  travel  together  like  two  excellent  friends.  I  gener- 
ally travel  as  fast  as  I  can.     Adieu." 

Buckingham  saluted  De  Wardes,  and  returned  toward 
the  king's  apartments;  De  Wardes,  irritated  beyond  meas- 
ure, left  the  Palais  Royal,  and  hurried  through  the  streets 
homeward  to  the  house  where  he  lodged. 



After  the  rather  severe  lesson  administered  to  De 
Wardes,  Athos  and  D'Artagnan  "together  descended  the 
staircase  which  led  to  the  courtyard  of  the  Palais  Royal. 

"You  perceive,"  said  Athos  to  D'Artagnan,  "that  Raoul 
cannot,  sooner  or  later,  avoid  a  duel  with  De  Wardes,  for 
De  AYardes  is  as  brave  as  he  is  vicious  and  wicked." 

"I  know  these  fellows  well,"  replied  D'Artagnan;  "I 
have  had  an  affair  with  the  father.  I  assure  you  that,  al- 
though all  that  time  I  had  good  muscles  and  a  sort  of  brute 
courage — I  assure  you  the  father  did  me  some  mischief. 
But  you  should  have  seen  how  I  fought  it  out  with  him. 
Ah,  Athos,  such  encounters  never  take  place  in  these  times. 
I  had  a  hand  which  could  never  remain  at  rest,  a  hand  like 
quicksilver — you  knew  its  quality,  for  you  have  seen  me  at 
work.  My  sword  was  no  longer  a  piece  of  steel;  it  was  a 
serpent  which  assumed  every  form  and  every  length,  seek- 
ing where  it  might  thrust  its  head;  in  other  words,  where 
it  might  fix  its  bite.  I  advanced  half  a  dozen  paces,  then, 
three,  and  then,  body  to  body,  I  pressed  my  antagonist 
closely,  then  I  darted  back  again  ten  paces.  No  human 
130wer  could  resist  that  ferocious  ardor.  Well,  De  Wardes, 
the  father,  with  the  bravery  of  his  race,  with  his  dogged 
courage,  occupied  a  good  deal  of  my  time;  and  my  fingers, 
at  the  end  of  the  engagement,  were,  I  well  remember,  tired 

"It  is,  then,  as  I  said,"  resumed  Athos,  "the  son  v.'ill 
always  be  looking  out  for  Raoul,  and  will  end  by  meeting 
him;  and  Raoul  can  easily  be  found  when  he  is  sought  for." 

"Agreed;  but  Raoul  calculates  well;  he  bears  no  grudge 

against  De  Wardes — he  has  said  so;  he  will  wait  until  he  is 

»  provoked,  and  in  that  case  his  position  is  a  good  one.     The 

king  will  not  be  able  to  get  out  of  temper  about  the  matter; 

144  TEN"  YEARS   LATEE. 

besides,  we  shall  know  how  to  pacify  his  majesty.  But  why 
so  full  of  these  fears  and  anxieties?  You  don't  easily  get 

"I  will  tell  you  Avhat  makes  me  anxious;  Eaoul  is  to  see 
the  king  to-morrow,  when  his  majesty  will  inform  him  of 
his  wishes  respecting  a  certain  marriage.  Eaoul,  loving  as 
he  does,  will  get  out  of  temper,  and  once  in  an  angry  mood, 
if  he  were  to  meet  De  Wardes,  the  shell  will  explode." 

"We  will  prevent  the  explosion." 

"Not  I,"  said  Athos,  "for  I  must  return  to  Blois.  All 
this  gilded  elegance  of  the  court,  all  these  intrigues,  disgust 
me.  I  am  no  longer  a  young  man  who  can  make  his  terms 
with  the  meannesses  of  the  present  day.  I  have  read  in  the 
great  Book  of  God  many  things  too  beautiful  and  too  com- 
prehensive to  take  any  interest  in  the  little  trifling  phrases 
which  these  men  whisper  among  themselves  when  they  wish 
to  deceive  others.  In  one  word,  I  am  sick  of  Paris  wher- 
ever and  whenever  you  are  not  with  me;  and  as  I  cannot 
have  you  always,  I  wish  to  return  to  Blois." 

"How  wrong  you  are,  Athos;  how  you  gainsay  your 
origin  and  the  destiny  of  your  noble  nature!  Men  of  your 
stamp  are  c/eated  to  continue,  to  the  very  last  moment,  in 
full  possession  of  their  great  faculties.  Look  at  my  sword, 
a  Spanish  blade,  the  one  I  wore  at  Eochelle;  it  served  me 
for  thirty  years  without  fail;  one  day,  in  the  winter,  it  fell 
upon  the  marble  floor  of  the  Louvre  and  was  broken.  I 
had  a  hunting-knife  made  of  it  which  will  last  a  hundred 
years  yet.  You,  Athos,  with  your  loyalty,  your  frankness, 
your  cool  courage,  and  your  sound  information,  are  the 
very  man  kings  need  to  warn  and  direct  them.  Eemain 
here;  Monsieur  Fouquet  will  not  last  so  long  as  my  Spanish 

"Is  it  possible,"  said  Athos,  smiling,  "that  my  friend 
D'Artagnan,  who,  after  having  raised  me  to  the  skies,  mak- 
ing me  an  object  of  worship,  casts  me  down  from  the  top 
of  Olympus,  and  hurls  me  to  the  ground?  I  have  more  ex- 
alted ambition,  D'Artagnan.  To  be  a  minister— to  be  a 
slave,  never.  Am  I  not  still  greater?  I  am  nothing.  I 
remember  having  heard  you  occasionally  call  me  'the  great 
Athos;'  I  defy  you,  therefore,  if  I  were  minister,  to  con- 
tinue to  bestow  that  title  upon  me.  No,  no;  I  do  not  yield 
myself  in  this  manner." 

"We  will  not  speak  of  it  any  more,  then;  renounce  every- 
thing, even  the  brotherly  feeling  which  unites  us." 

"It  is  almost  cruel,  what  you  say." 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  145 

D'Artagnan  pressed  Athos'  hand  warmly. 

"TSTo,  no;  renounce  everything  without  fear.  Raoul  can 
get  on  without  you;  I  am  at  Paris." 

"In  that  case,  I  shall  return  to  Blois.  We  will  take  leave 
^f  each  other  to-night;  to-morrow  at  daybreak  I  shall  be 
on  my  horse  again." 

"You  cannot  return  to  your  hotel  alone;  why  did  you 
not  bring  Grimaud  with  you?" 

"Grimaud  takes  his  rest  now;  he  goes  to  bed  early,  for 
my  poor  old  servant  gets  easily  fatigued.  He  came  from 
Blois  with  me,  and  I  compelled  him  to  remain  within  doors; 
for  if,  in  retracing  the  forty  leagues  which  separate  us  from 
Blois,  he  needed  to  draw  breath  even,  he  would  die  with- 
out a  murmur.     But  I  don't  want  to  lose  Grimaud." 

"You  shall  have  one  of  my  musketeers  to  carry  a  torch 
for  you.  Hola!  some  one  there,"  called  out  D'Artagnan, 
leaning  over  the  gilded  balustrade — the  heads  of  seven  or 
eight  musketeers  appeared — ^"I  wish  some  gentleman  who 
is  so  disposed  to  escort  the  Comte  de  la  Fere,"  cried  D'Ar- 

"Thank  you  for  your  readiness,  gentlemen,"  said  Athos; 
"I  regret  to  have  occasion  to  trouble  you  in  this  manner." 

"I  would  willingly  escort  the  Comte  de  la  Fere,"  said 
some  one,  "if  I  had  not  to  speak  to  Monsieur  d'Artagnan," 

"Who  is  that?"  said  D'Artagnan,  looking  into  the 

"I,  Monsieur  d'Artagnan." 

"Heaven  forgive  me  if  that  is  Monsieur  Baisemeaux's 

"It  is,  monsieur," 

"What  are  you  doing  in  the  courtyard,  my  dear 

"I  am  waiting  your  orders,  my  dear  Monsieur  d'Artagnan. " 

"Wretch  that  I  am,"  thought  D'Artagnan;  "true,  you 
have  been  told,  I  suppose,  that  some  one  was  to  be  arrested, 
and  have  come  yourself,  instead  of  sending  an  officer?" 

"I  came  because  I  had  occasion  to  speak  to  you." 

"l"ou  did  not  send  to  me?" 

"I  waited  until  you  were  disengaged,"  said  M.  Baise- 
meaux timidly. 

"I  leave  you,  D'Artagnan,"  said  Athos. 

"Not  before  I  have  presented  Monsieur  Baisemeaux  de 
Montlezun,  the  governor  of  the  Bastile." 

Baisemeaux  and  Athos  saluted  each  other. 

"Surely  you  must  know  each  other?"  said  D'Artagnan. 
Dumas— Vol.  XY.  '  7 

146  TE]Sr    YEARS   LATER. 

"I  have  an  indistinct  recollection  of  Monsieur  Baise« 
meaux,"  said  Athos. 

"You  remember,  my  dear  Baisemeaux,  that  king's  guards- 
man with  whom  we  used  formerly  to  have  such  delightful 
meetings  in  the  cardinal's  time." 

"Perfectly,"  said  Athos,  taking  leave  of  him  with 

"Monsieur  le  Comte  de  la  Fere,  whose  nom  de  guerre  was 
Athos,"  whispered  D'Artagnan  to  Baisemeaux. 

"Yes,  yes;  a  brave  man,  one  of  the  celebrated  four." 

"Precisely  so.     But,  my  dear  Baisemeaux,  shall  we  talk 



"If  you  please." 

"In  the  first  place,  as  for  the  orders — there  are  none. 
The  king  does  not  intend  to  arrest  the  person  in  question." 

"So  much  the  worse,"  said  Baisemeaux,  with  a  sigh. 

"What  do  you  mean  by  so  much  the  worse?"  exclaimed 
D'Artagnan,  laughing. 

"Ino  doubt  of  it,"  returned  the  governor,  "my  prisoners 
are  my  income." 

"I  beg  your  pardon;  I  did  not  see  it  in  that  light." 

"And  so  there  are  no  orders,"  repeated  Baisemeaux,  with 
a  sigh.  "What  an  admirable  situation  yours  is,  captain," 
he  continued,  after  a  jDause,  "captain-lieutenant  of  the 

"Oh,  it  is  good  enough;  but  I  don't  see  why  you  should 
envy  me;  you,  governor  of  the  Bastile,  the  first  castle  in 

"I  am  well  aware  of  that,"  said  Baisemeaux,  in  a  sorrow- 
ful tone  of  voice. 

"You  say  that  like  a  man  confessing  his  sins.  I  would 
willingly  exchange  my  profits  for  yours." 

"Don't  speak  of  profits  to  me,  if  you  wish  to  save  me  the 
bitterest  anguish  of  mind." 

"Why  do  you  look  first  on  one  side,  and  then  on  the 
other,  as  if  you  were  afraid  of  being  arrested  yourself,  you 
whose  business  it  is  to  arrest  others?" 

"I  was  looking  to  see  whether  any  one  could  see  or  listen 
to  us;  it  would  be  safer  to  confer  more  in  private,  if  you 
would  grant  me  such  a  favor," 

"Baisemeaux,  you  seem  to  forget  we  are  acquaintances  of 
thirty-five  years'  standing.  Don't  assume  such  sanctified 
airs;  make  yourself  quite  comfortable;  I  don't  eat  governors 
of  the  Bastile  raw." 

"Heaven  be  praised!" 


o  iz 

CQ    O 


Q    CO 

o  ^ 

TEN"    YEAIIS    LATER.  147 

"Come  into  the  courtyard  with  me;  it's  a  "beautiful 
moonlight  night;  we  will  walk  up  and  down,  arm  in  arm, 
under  the  trees,  while  you  tell  me  your  pitiful  tale." 

He  drew  the  doleful  governor  into  the  courtyard,  took 
him  by  the  arm,  as  he  had  said,  and  in  his  rough,  good- 
humored  way,  cried: 

"Out  with  it;  rattle  away,  Baisemeaux;  what  have  you 
got  to  say?" 

"It's  a  long  story." 

"You  prefer  your  own  lamentations,  then;  my  opinion  is, 
it  will  be  longer  than  ever.  I'll  wager  you  are  making  fifty 
thousand  francs  out  of  your  pigeons  in  the  Bastile." 

"Would  to  Heaven  that  were  the  case.  Monsieur 

"You  surprise  me,  Baisemeaux;  just  look  at  yourself, 
voiis faites  lliomme  contrit.  I  should  like  to  show  you  your 
face  in  a  glass,  and  you  would  see  how  plump  and  florid- 
looking  you  are,  as  fat  and  round  as  a  cheese,  with  eyes 
like  lighted  coals;  and  if  it  were  not  for  that  ugly  wrinkle 
you  try  to  cultivate  on  your  forehead,  you  would  hardly 
look  fifty  years  old,  and  you  are  sixty,  if  I  am  not  mistaken." 

"All  quite  true." 

"Of  course  I  knew  it  was  true,  as  true  as  the  fifty  thou- 
sand francs  profit  you  make;"  at  which  remark  Baisemeaux 
stamped  on  the  ground. 

"Well,  well,"  said  D'Artagnan,  "I  will  run  up  your  ac- 
count for  you;  you  were  captain  of  Monsieur  Mazariu's 
guards;  and  twelve  thousand  francs  a  year  would  in  twelve 
years  amount  to  one  hundred  and  forty-four  thousand 

"Twelve  thousand  francs!  Are  you  mad!"  cried  Baise- 
meaux; "the  old  miser  gave  me  no  more  than  six  thousand, 
and  the  expenses  of  the  post  amounted  to  six  thousand  five 
hundred.  Monsieur  Colbert,  who  deducted  the  other  six 
thousand  francs,  condescended  to  allow  me  to  take  fifty 
pistoles  as  a  gratification;  so  that,  if  it  were  not  for  my 
little  estate  at  Montlezun,  which  brings  me  in  twelve  thou- 
sand francs  a  year,  I  could  not  have  met  my  engagements." 

"Well,  then,  how  about  the  fifty  thousand  francs  from 
the  Bastile?  There,  I  trust,  you  are  boarded  and  lodged, 
and  get  your  six  thousand  francs  salary  besides." 


"Whether  the  year  be  good  or  bad,  there  are  fifty  pris- 
oners, who,  on  an  average,  bring  you  in  a  thousand  francs  a 
year  each." 

148  TEN    TEARS   LATER.  ' 

"I  don't  deny  it." 

"Well,  there  is  at  once  an  income  of  fifty  thousand 
francs;  you  have  held  the  post  three  years,  and  must  have 
received  in  that  time  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand 

"You  forget  one  circumstance,  dear  Monsieur  d'Ar- 

"What  is  that?" 

"That  while  you  received  your  appointment  as  captain 
from  the  king  himself,  I  received  mine  as  governor  from 
Messrs,  Tremblay  and  Louviere," 

"Quite  right,  and  Tremblay  was  not  a  man  to  let  you 
have  the  post  for  nothing," 

"Nor  was  Louviere  either;  the  result  was,  that  I  gave 
seventy-five  thousand  francs  to  Tremblay  as  his  share." 

"Very  agreeable,  that!  and  to  Louviere?" 

"The  same." 

"Money  down?" 

"No;  that  vv^ould  have  been  impossible.  The  king  did 
not  wish,  or,  rather.  Monsieur  Mazarin  did  not  wish,  to 
have  the  appearance  of  removing  those  two  gentlemen,  who 
had  sprung  from  the  barricades;  he  permitted  them,  there- 
fore, to  make  certain  extravagant  conditions  for  their 

"What  are  those  conditions?" 

"Tremble! — three  years'  income  for  the  good-will," 

"The  deuce!  so  that  the  hundred  and  fifty  thousand 
francs  have  passed  into  their  hands?" 

"Precisely  so." 

"And  beyond  that?" 

"A  sum  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  francs,  or 
fifteen  thousand  pistoles,  whichever  you  please,  in  three 

"Exorbitant  enough," 

"Yes,  but  that  is  not  all," 

"What  besides?" 

"In  default  of  the  fulfillment  by  me  of  any  one  of  those 
conditions,  those  gentlemen  enter  upon  their  functions 
again.     The  king  has  been  induced  to  sign  that," 

"It  is  enormous,  incredible!" 

"Such  is  the  fact,  however." 

"I  do  indeed  pity  you,  Baisemeaux.  But  why,  in  the 
name  of  fortune,  did  Monsieur  Mazarin  grant  you  this  pre- 
tended favor?  It  would  have  been  far  better  to  have 
refused  you  altogether." 

TEN"   YEARS    LATER.  149 

"Certainly;  but  he  was  strongly  persuaded  to  do  so  by 
my  protector." 

"Who  is  he?" 

"One  of  your  own  friends,  indeed;  Monsieur  d'Herblay." 

"Monsieur  d'Herblay!     Aramis?" 

"Just  so;  he  has  been  very  kind  toward  me." 

"Kind!  to  make  you  enter  into  such  a  bargain." 

"Listen.  I  wished  to  leave  the  cardinal's  service.  Mon- 
sieur d'Herblay  spoke  on  my  behalf  to  Louviere  and  Trem- 
blay — tliey  objected;  I  wished  to  have  the  appointment  very 
much,  for  I  knew  what  it  could  be  made  to  produce;  in  my 
distress  I  confided  in  Monsieur  d'Herblay,  and  he  offered 
to  become  my  surety  for  the  different  payments." 

"You  astound  me!     Aramis  become  your  surety?" 

"Like  a  man  of  honor;  he  procured  the  signature;  Trem- 
blay  and  Louviere  resigned  their  appointments;  I  have  paid 
every  year  twenty-five  thousand  francs  to  these  two  gentle- 
men; on  the  31st  of  May,  every  year.  Monsieur  d'Herblay 
himself  comes  to  the  Bastile,  and  brings  me  five  thousand 
pistoles  to  distribute  between  my  crocodiles." 

"You  owe  Aramis  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  francs, 

"That  is  the  very  thing  which  is  the  cause  of  my  despair, 
for  I  only  owe  him  one  hundred  thousand." 

"I  don't  quite  understand  you." 

"He  has  been  only  two  years.  To-day,  however,  is  the 
31st  of  May,  and  he  has  not  been  yet,  and  to-morrow,  at  mid- 
day, the  payment  falls  due;  if,  therefore,  I  don't  pay  to- 
morrow, those  gentlemen  can,  by  the  terms  of  the  contract, 
break  off  the  bargain;  I  shall  be  stripped  of  everything;  I 
shall  have  worked  for  three  years,  and  given  two  hundred 
and  fifty  thousand  francs  for  nothing,  absolutely  for  noth- 
ing at  all,  dear  Monsieur  d'Artagnan." 

"This  is  very  strange,"  murmured  D'Artagnan. 

"You  can  now  imagine  that  I  may  well  have  wrinkles  on 
my  forehead;  can  you  not?" 

"Yes,  indeed!" 

"And  you  can  imagine,  too,  that  notwithstanding  I  may 
be  as  round  as  a  cheese,  with  a  complexion  like  an  apple, 
and  my  eyes  like  coals  on  fire,  I  may  almost  be  afraid  that 
I  shall  not  have  a  cheese  or  an  apple  left  me  to  eat,  and 
that  I  shall  only  have  my  eyes  left  me  to  weep  with." 

"It  is  really  a  very  grievous  affair.'^ 

"I  have  come  to  you,  Monsieur  d'Artagnan,  for  you  are 
the  only  one  who  can  get  me  out  of  my  trouble." 

150  TEN"   TEARS    LATER. 

"In  what  way?'* 

"You  are  acquainted  with  the  Abbe  d'Herblay,  and  you 
know  that  he  is  somewhat  mysterious," 


"Well,  you  can,  perhaps,  give  me  the  address  of  his 
presbytery,  for  I  have  been  to  Noisy-le-Sec,  and  he  is  no 
longer  there." 

"I  should  think  not,  indeed.     He  is  Bishop  of  Vannes." 

"What!  Vannes  in  I3retagne?" 


The  little  man  began  to  tear  his  hair,  saying: 

"How  can  I  get  to  Vannes  from  here  by  midday  to- 
morrow?    I  am  a  lost  man." 

"Your  despair  quite  distresses  me." 

"Vannes!  Vannes!"  cried  Baisemeaux. 

"But  listen;  a  bishop  is  not  always  a  resident.  Monsieur 
d'Herblay  may  not  possibly  be  so  far  away  as  you  fear." 

"Pray,  tell  me  his  address." 

"I  really  don't  know  it." 

"In  that  case,  I  am  utterly  lost.  I  will  go  and  throw 
myself  at  the  king's  feet." 

"But,  Baisemeaux,  I  can  hardly  believe  what  you  tell  me; 
besides,  since  the  Bastile  is  capable  of  producing  fifty 
thousand  francs  a  year,  why  have  you  not  tried  to  screw  one 
hundred  thousand  out  of  it?" 

"Because  I  am  an  honest  man,  Monsieur  d'Artagnan, 
and  because  my  prisoners  are  fed  like  potentates." 

"Well,  you're  in  a  fair  way  to  get  out  of  your  difficulties; 
give  yourself  a  good  attack  of  indigestion  with  your  excel- 
lent living,  and  put  yourself  out  of  the  way  between  this 
and  midday  to-morrow." 

"How  can  you  be  hard-hearted  enough  to  laugh?" 

"Nay,  you  really  afflict  me.  Come,  Baisemeaux,  if  you 
can  pledge  me  your  word  of  honor,  do  so,  that  you  will  not 
open  your  lips  to  any  one  about  what  I  am  going  to  say  to 

"Never,  never!" 

"You  wish  to  put  your  hand  on  Aramis?" 

"At  any  cost." 

"Well,  go  and  see  where  Monsieur  Fouquet  is." 

"Why,  what  connection  can  there  be " 

"How  stupid  you  are!  Don't  you  know  that  Vannes  is 
in  the  diocese  of  Belle-Isle,  or  Belle-Isle  in  the  diocese  of 
Vannes?  Belle-Isle  belongs  to  Monsieur  Fouquet,  and 
Monsieur  Fouquet  nominated  Monsieur  d'Herblay  to  that 

TEN"   YEAKS    LATER.  151 

*'l  see,  I  see!     You  restore  me  to  life  again." 

"So  much  the  better.  Go  and  tell  Monsieur  Fouquet 
very  simply  that  you  wish  to  speak  to  Monsieur  d'Herblay." 

"Of  course,  of  course!"  exclaimed  Baisemeaux  de- 

"But,"  said  D'Artagnan,  checking  him  by  a  severe  look, 
"your  word  of  honor." 

"I  give  you  my  sacred  word  of  honor,"  replied  the  little 
man,  about  to  set  off  running. 

"AVhere  are  yon  going?" 

"To  Monsieur  FouqUet's  house." 

"It  is  useless  doing  that;  Monsieur  Fouquet  is  playing  at 
cards  with  the  king.  All  you  can  do  is  to  pay  Monsieur 
Fouquet  a  visit  early  to-morrow  morning." 

"I  will  do  so.     Thank  you." 

"Good  luck  attend  you,"  said  D'Artagnan. 

"Thank  you." 

"This  is  a  strange  affair!"  murmured  D'Artagnan,  as  he 
slowly  ascended  the  staircase  after  he  had  left  Baisemeaux. 
"What  possible  interest  can  Aramis  have  in  obliging  Baise- 
meaux in  this  manner?  Well,  I  suppose  we  shall  learn 
some  day  or  another." 


THE   king's   card-table. 

Fouquet  was  present,  as  D'Artagnan  had  said,  at  the 
king's  card-table.  It  seemed  as  if  Buckingham's  departure 
had  shed  a  balm  upon  all  the  ulcerated  hearts  of  the  pre- 
vious evening.  Monsieur,  radiant  with  delight,  made  a 
thousand  affectionate  signs  to  his  mother.  The  Count  de 
Guiche  could  not  separate  himself  from  Buckingham,  and 
while  playing,  conversed  with  him  upon  the  circumstance 
of  his  projected  voyage.  Buckingham,  thoughtful,  and 
kind  in  his  manner,  like  a  man  who  has  adopted  a  resolu- 
tion, listened  to  the  count,  and  from  time  to  time  cast  a 
look  full  of  regret  and  hopeless  affliction  at  madame.  The 
princess,  in  the  midst  of  her  elation  of  spirits,  divided  her 
attention  between  the  king,  who  was  playing  with  her. 
Monsieur,  who  quietly  joked  her  about  her  enormous  win- 
nings, and  De  Guiche,  who  exhibited  an  extravagant  de- 
light. Of  Buckingham  she  took  but  little  notice,  for  her, 
this  fugitive,  this  exile,  was  now  simply  a  remembrance. 

152  TEN^   YEARS   LATER. 

and  no  longer  a  man.  Light  hearts  are  thus  constituted, 
while  they  themselves  continne  imtonched,  they  roi^ghly 
break  off  with  every  one  who  may  possibly  interfere  with 
their  little  calculation  of  selfish  comforts.  Madame  had 
received  Buckingham's  smiles  and  attentions  and  sighs, 
while  he  was  present;  but  what  was  the  good  of  sighing, 
smiling,  and  kneeling  at  a  distance?  Can  one  tell  in  what 
direction  the  winds  in  the  Channel,  which  toss  the  mighty 
vessels  to  and  fro,  carry  such  sighs  as  these?  The  duke 
could  not  conceal  this  change,  and  his  heart  was  cruelly  hurt 
at  it.  Of  a  sensitive  character,  proud  and  susceptible  of 
deep  attachment,  he  cursed  the  day  on  which  the  passion 
had  entered  his  heart.  The  looks  which  he  cast,  from  time 
to  time  at  madame,  became  colder  by  degrees  at  the  chill- 
ing complexion  of  his  thoughts.  He  could  hardly  yet 
despair,  but  he  was  strong  enough  to  impose  silence  upon 
the  tumultuous  outcries  of  his  heart.  In  exact  proportion, 
however,  as  madame  suspected  this  change  of  feeling,  she 
redoubled  her  activity  to  regain  the  ray  of  light  which  she 
was  about  to  lose;  her  timid  and  indecisive  mind  was  first 
displayed  in  brilliant  flashes  of  wit  and  humor.  At  any 
cost,  she  felt  that  she  must  be  remarked  above  everything 
and  every  one,  even  above  the  king  himself.  And  she  was 
so,  for  the  queens,  notwithstanding  their  dignity,  and  the 
king,  despite  the  respect  which  etiquette  required,  were  all 
eclipsed  by  her.  The  queens,  stately  and  ceremonious, 
were  softened,  and  could  not  restrain  their  laughter.  Mme. 
Henrietta,  the  queen-mother,  was  dazzled  by  the  brilliancy 
which  cast  distinction  upon  her  family,  thanks  to  the  wit 
of  the  granddaughter  of  Henry  IV.  The  king,  so  jealous, 
as  a  young  man  and  as  a  monarch,  of  the  superiority  of 
those  who  surrounded  him,  could  not  resist  admitting  him- 
self vanquished  by  that  petulance  so  thoroughly  French  in 
its  nature,  and  whose  energy  was  more  than  ever  increased 
by  its  English  humor.  Like  a  child,  he  was  captivated  by 
her  radiant  beauty,  which  her  wit  made  still  more  so. 
Madame's  eyes  flashed  like  lightning.  Wit  and  humor 
escaped  from  her  ruby  lips,  like  persuasion  from  the  lips  of 
Nestor  of  old.  The  whole  court,  subdued  by  her  enchant- 
ing grace,  noticed  for  the  first  time  that  laughter  could  be 
indulged  in  before  the  greatest  monarch  in  the  world,  like 
people  who  merited  their  appellation  of  the  wittiest  and 
most  polished  poeple  in  the  world. 

Madame,   from   that    evening,    achieved   and  enjoyed   a 
success  capable  of  bewildering  whomsoever  it  might   be. 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  153 

who  had  not  been  born  in  those  elevated  regions  termed  a 
throne,  and  which,  in  spite  of  their  elevation,  are  sheltered 
from  similar  vertigoes.  From  that  very  moment  Louis 
XIV.  acknowledged  madame  as  a  person  who  might  be 
recognized.  Buckingham  regarded  her  as  a  coquette  de- 
serving the  crudest  tortures,  and  De  Guiche  looked  upon 
her  as  a  divinity;  the  courtiers  as  a  star  whose  light  might 
become  the  focus  of  all  favor  and  power.  And  yet  Louis 
XIV.,  a  few  years  previously,  had  not  even  condescended 
to  offer  his  hand  to  that  "ugly  girl"  for  a  ballet;  and  yet 
Buckingham  had  worshiped  this  coquette  in  the  humblest 
attitude;  and  yet  De  Guiche  had  looked  upon  this  divinity 
as  a  mere  woman;  and  yet  the  courtiers  had  not  dared  to 
extol  that  star  in  her  upward  progress,  fearful  to  displease 
the  monarch  whom  this  star  had  formerly  displeased. 

Let  us  see  what  was  taking  place  during  this  memorable 
evening  at  the  king's  card-table.  The  young  queen,  al- 
though Spanish  by  birth,  and  the  niece  of  Anne  of  Austria, 
loved  the  king,  and  could  not  conceal  her  affection.  She 
was  a  keen  observer,  like  all  women,  and  imperious,  like 
every  queen,  was  sensible  of  madame's  power,  and  ac- 
quiesced in  it  immediately,  a  circumstance  which  induced 
the  young  queen  to  raise  the  siege  and  retire  to  her  apart- 
ments. The  king  hardly  paid  any  attention  to  her  de- 
parture, notwithstanding  the  pretended  symptoms  of  indis- 
position by  which  it  was  accompanied.  Encouraged  by  the 
rules  of  etiquette,  which  he  had  begun  to  introduce  at  the 
court  as  an  element  of  every  position  -and  relation  of  life, 
Louis  XIV.  did  not  disturb  himself;  he  offered  his  hand  to 
madame  without  looking  at  Monsieur  his  brother,  and  led 
the  young  princess  to  the  door  of  her  apartments.  It  was 
remarked  that  at  the  threshold  of  the  door,  his  majesty, 
freed  from  every  restraint,  or  less  strong  than  the  situation, 
sighed  very  deeply.  The  ladies  present — for  nothing 
escapes  a  Avoman's  observation — Mile.  Montalais,  for  in- 
stance— did  not  fail  to  say  to  each  other,  "the  king  sighed," 
and  "madame  sighed,  too."  This  had  been  indeed  the 
case.  Madame  had  sighed  very  noiselessly,  but  with  an 
accompaniment  very  far  more  dangerous  for  the  king's  re- 
pose. Madame  had  sighed,  first  closing  her  beautiful  black 
eyes,  next  opening  them,  and  then,  laden  as  they  were 
with  an  indescribable  mournfulness  of  expression,  she  had 
raised  them  toward  the  king,  whose  face  at  that  moment 
had  visibly  heightened  in  color.  The  consequence  of  these 
blushes,  of  these  interchanged  sighs,  and  of  this  royal  agita- 


tion,  was,  that  Montalais  had  committed  an  indiscretion, 
which  had  certainly  affected  her  companion,  for  Mile,  de  la 
Valliere,  less  clear-sighted,  perhaps,  turned  pale  when  the 
king  blushed;  and  her  attendance  being  required  upon 
madame,  she  tremblingly  followed  the  princess  without 
thinking  of  taking  the  gloves,  which  court  etiquette  re- 
quired her  to  do.  True  it  is  that  this  young  country  girl 
might  allege  as  her  excuse  the  agitation  into  which  the  king 
seemed  to  be  thrown,  for  Mile,  de  la  Valliere,  busily  en- 
gaged in  closing  the  door,  had  involuntarily  fixed  her  eyes 
upon  the  king,  who,  as  he  retired  backward,  had  his  face 
toward  it.  The  king  returned  to  the  room  where  the  card- 
tables  were  set  out.  He  wished  to  speak  to  the  different 
persons  there,  but  it  could  easily  be  seen  that  his  mind  was 
absent.  He  jumbled  different  accounts  together,  which 
was  taken  advantage  of  by  some  of  the  noblemen  who  had 
retained  those  habits  since  the  time  of  M.  Mazarin,  he  who 
had  memory,  but  was  a  good  calculator.  In  this  way,  M. 
Manicamp,  with  a  thoughtless  and  absent  air,  for  M.  Mani- 
camp  was  the  honestest  man  in  the  world,  appropriated 
simply  twenty  thousand  francs,  which  were  littering  the 
table,  and  the  ownership  of  which  did  not  seem  legitimately 
to  belong  to  any  person  in  particular.  In  the  same  way, 
M.  de  Wardes,  Avhose  head  was  doubtless  a  little  bewildered 
by  the  occurrences  of  the  evening,  somehow  forgot  to  leave- 
the  sixty  double  louis  which  he  had  won  for  the  Duke  of 
Buckingham,  and  which  the  duke,  incapable,  like  his 
father,  of  soiling  his  hands  with  coin  of  any  sort,  had  left 
lying  on  the  table  before  him.  The  king  only  recovered 
his  attention  in  some  degree  at  the  moment  that  M.  Colbert, 
who  had  been  narrowly  observant  for  some  minutes,  ap- 
proached, and,  doubtless,  with  great  respect,  yet  with  much 
perseverance,  whispered  a  counsel  of  some  sort  into  the  still 
tingling  ears  of  the  king.  The  king,  at  the  suggestion, 
listened  with  renewed  attention,  and  immediately  looking 
around  him,  said:  *'Is  Monsieur  Fouquet  no  longer  here?" 

''Yes,  sire,  I  am  here,''  replied  the  surintendant,  who 
was  engaged  with  Buckingham,  and  approached  the  king, 
who  advanced  a  step  toward  him  witJi  a  smiling  yet  negligent 
air.  "Forgive  me,"  said  Louis,  "if  I  interrupt  your  con- 
versation; but  I  claim  your  attention  wherever  I  may 
require  your  services." 

"I  am  always  at  the  king's  service,"  replied  Fouquet. 

"And  your  cash-box,  too,"  said  the  king,  laughing  with 
a  false  smile. 

TEN   YEAKS    LATER.  155 

*'My  cash-box  more  than  anything  else,"  said  Fouquet 

"The  fact  is,  I  wish  to  give  a /e/e  at  Fontainebleau,  to 
keep  open  house  for  fifteen  days,  and  I  shall  reqinre — " 
and  he  stopped,  glancing  at  Colbert.  Fouquet  waited  with- 
out showing  discomposure;  and  the  king  resumed,  answer- 
ing Colbert's  cruel  smile,  "Four  millions  of  francs." 

"Four  millions,"  repeated  Fouquet,  bowing  profoundly. 
And  his  nails,  buried  in  his  bosom,  were  thrust  into  his 
flesh,  the  tranquil  expression  of  his  face  remaining  unal- 
tered.    "When  will  they  be  required,  sire?" 

"Take  your  time — I  mean — no,  no;  as  soon  as  possible." 

"A  certain  time  will  be  necessary,  sire." 

"Time!"  exclaimed  Colbert  triumphantly. 

"The  time,  monsieur,"  said  the  surintendant,  with  the 
haughtiest  disdain,  "simijly  to  count  the  money;  a  million 
only  can  be  drawn  and  weighed  in  a  day." 

"Four  days,  then,"  said  Colbert. 

"My  clerks,"  replied  Fouquet,  addressing  himself  to  the 
king,  "will  perform  wonders  for  his  majesty's  service,  and 
the  sum  shall  be  ready  in  three  days." 

It  was  for  Colbert  now  to  turn  pale.  Louis  looked  at 
him  astonished.  Fouquet  withdrew  without  any  parade  or 
weakness,  smiling  at  his  numerous  friends,  in  whose  coun- 
tenances alone  he  read  the  sincerity  of  their  friendship — an 
interest  partaking  of  compassion.  Fouquet,  however,  should 
not  be  judged  by  his  smile,  for,  in  reality,  he  felt  as  if  he 
had  been  stricken  by  death.  Drops  of  blood  beneath  his 
coat  stained  the  fine  linen  which  covered  his  chest.  His 
dress  concealed  the  blood,  and  his  smile  the  rage  which 
devoured  him.  His  domestics  perceived,  by  the  manner  in 
which  he  approached  his  carriage,  that  their  master  was  not 
in  the  best  of  humors;  the  result  of  their  discernment  Avas, 
that  his  orders  were  executed  with  that  exactitude  of 
maneuver  which  is  found  on  board  of  a  man-of-war,  com- 
manded during  a  storm  by  a  passionate  captain.  The  car- 
riage, therefore,  did  not  simply  roll  along,  but  flew.  Fou- 
quet had  hardly  had  time  to  recover  himself  during  the 
drive;  on  his  arrival  he  went  at  once  to  Aramis,  who  had 
not  yet  retired  for  the  night.  As  for  Porthos,  he  had 
supped  very  agreeably  from  a  roast  leg  of  mutton,  two 
pheasants,  and  a  perfect  heap  of  crawfish;  he  then  directed 
his  body  to  be  anointed  with  perfumed  oils,  in  the  manner 
of  the  wrestlers  of  old;  and  when  the  anointment  was  com- 
pleted he  was  wrapped  in  flannels  and  placed  in  a  warm 

156  TEX    YEAKS    LATER. 

bed.  Aramis,  as  we  have  already  said,  had  not  retired. 
Seated  at  his  ease  in  a  velvet  dressing-gown,  he  wrote  letter 
after  letter  in  that  fine  and  hurried  handwriting,  a  page  of 
which  contained  a  quarter  of  a  volume.  The  door  was 
thrown  hurriedly  open,  and  the  surintendant  appeared, 
pale,  agitated,  and  anxious.  Aramis  looked  up:  "Good- 
evening,"  said  he;  and  his  searching  look  detected  his  host's 
sadness  and  disordered  state  of  mind.  "Was  the  play  as 
good  as  his  majesty's?"  asked  Aramis,  as  a  way  of  begin- 
ning the  conversation.  Fouquet  threw  himself  upon  a 
couch,  and  then  pointed  to  the  door  to  the  servant  who  had 
followed  him;  when  the  servant  had  left  he  said:  "Ex- 

Aramis,  who  had  followed  every  movement  with  his  eyes, 
noticed  that  he  stretched  himself  upon  the  cushions  with  a 
sort  of  feverish  impatience.  "You  have  lost  as  usual?" 
inquired  Aramis,  his  pen  still  in  his  hand. 

"Better  than  usual,"  replied  Fouquet. 

"You  know  how  to  support  losses." 


"What!  Monsieur  Fouquet  a  bad  player!" 

"There  is  play  and  play.  Monsieur  d'Herblay." 

"How  much  have  you  lost?"  inquired  Aramis,  with  a 
slight  uneasiness. 

Fouquet  collected  himself  a  moment,  and  then,  without 
the  slightest  emotion,  said,  "The  evening  has  cost  me  four 
millions,"  and  a  bitter  laugh  drowned  the  last  vibration  of 
these  words. 

Aramis,  who  did  not  expect  such  an  amount,  dropped  his 
pen.  "Four  millions,"  he  said;  "you  have  lost  four  mil- 
lions— impossible!" 

"Monsieur  Colbert  held  my  cards  for  me,"  replied  the 
surintendant,  with  a  similar  bitter  laugh. 

"Ah,  now  I  understand;  so,  so,  a  new  application  for 

"Yes,  and  from  the  king's  own  lips.  It  is  impossible  to 
destroy  a  man  with  a  more  charming  smile.  What  do  you 
think  of  it?" 

"It  is  clear  that  your  ruin  is  the  object  in  view." 

"That  is  still  your  opinion?" 

"Still.  Besides,  there  is  nothing  in  it  which  should 
astonish  you,  for  we  have  foreseen  it  all  along." 

"Yes;  but  I  did  not  expect  four  millions." 

"No  doubt  the  amount  is  serious;  but,  after  all,  four  mil- 
lions are  not  quite  the  death  of  a  man,  especially  when  the 
man  in  question  is  Monsieur  Fouquet." 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  157 

"My  dear  D'Herblay,  if  yon  knew  the  contents  of  my 
coffers  you  would  be  less  easy." 

"And  you  promised?" 

"What  could  I  do?" 

"That's  true." 

"The  very  day  when  I  refuse,  Colbert  will  procure  it, 
whence  I  know  not,  but  he  will  procure  the  money,  and  I 
shall  be  lost." 

"There  is  no  doubt  of  that.  In  how  many  days  hence 
have  you  promised  these  four  millions?" 

"In  three  days;  the  king  seemed  exceedingly  pressed." 

"In  three  days?" 

"When  I  think,"  resumed  Fouquet,  "that  just  now,  as  I 
passed  along  the  streets,  the  people  cried  out,  'There  is  the 
rich  Monsieur  Fouquet,'  it  is  enough  to  turn  my  brain." 

"Stay,  monsieur,  the  matter  is  not  worth  the  trouble," 
said  Aramis  calmly,  sprinkling  some  sand  over  the  letter 
he  had  just  written. 

"Suggest  a  remedy,  then,  for  this  evil  without  a  remedy." 

"There  is  only  one  remedy  for  you — pay." 

"But  it  is  very  uncertain  whether  I  have  the  money. 
Everything  must  be  exhausted;  Belle-Isle  is  paid  for;  the 
pension  has  been  paid;  and  .money,  since  the  investigation 
of  the  account  of  those  who  farm  the  revenue,  is  rare.  Be- 
sides, admitting  that  I  pay  this  time,  how  can  I  do  so  on 
another  occasion?  When  ki^igs  have  tasted  money  they 
are  like  tigers  who  have  tasted  flesh,  they  devour  every- 
thing. The  day  will  arrive — must  arrive — when  I  shall 
have  to  say  'Impossible,  sire,'  and  on  that  very  day  I  am  a 
lost  man." 

Aramis  raised  his  shoulders  slightly,  saying: 

"A  man  in  your  position,  my  lord,  is  only  lost  Avhen  he 
wishes  to  be  so." 

"A  man,  whatever  his  position  may  be,  cannot  hope  to 
struggle  against  a  king." 

"Nonsense;  when  I  was  young  I  struggled  successfully 
with  the  Cardinal  Eichelieu,  who  was  King  of  France — nay 
more,  cardinal." 

"Where  are  my  armies,  my  troops,  my  treasures?  I  have 
not  even  Belle-Isle." 

"Bah!  necessity  is  the  mother  of  invention,  and  when 
you  think  all  is  lost,  something  will  be  discovered  which 
shall  save  everything." 

"Who  will  discover  this  wonderful  something?" 


158  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

"I!     I  resign  my  office  of  inventor." 

"Then  I  will." 

"Be  it  so.     But  then,  set  to  work  without  delay." 

"Oh!  we  have  time  enough." 

"You  kill  me,  D'Herblay,  with  your  calmness,"  said  the 
surintendant,  passing  his  handkerchief  over  his  face. 

"Do  you  not  remember  that  I  one  day  told  you  not  to 
make  yourself  uneasy,  if  you  possess  but  courage?  Have 
you  any?" 

"I  believe  so." 

"Then  don't  make  yourself  uneasy." 

"It  is  decided,  then,  that  at  the  last  moment  you  will 
come  to  my  assistance." 

"It  will  only  be  the  repayment  of  a  debt  I  owe  you." 

"It  is  the  vocation  of  financiers  to  anticipate  the  wants  of 
men  such  as  yourself,  D'Herblay." 

"If  obligingness  is  the  vocation  of  financiers,  charity  is  a 
virtue  of  the  clergy.  Only,  on  this  occasion,  do  you  act, 
monsieur.  You  are  not  yet  sufficiently  reduced,  and  at  the 
last  moment  we  shall  see  what  is  to  be  done." 

"We  shall  see,  then,  in  a  very  short  time." 

"Very  well.  However,  permit  me  to  tell  you  that,  per- 
sonally, I  regret  exceedingly  that  you  are  at  present  so  short 
of  money,  because  I  was  myself  about  to  ask  you  for  some." 

"For  yourself?" 

"For  myself,  or  some  of  my  people,  for  mine  or  for  ours." 

"How  much  do  you  want?" 

"Be  easy  on  that  score;  a  roundish  sum,  it  is  true,  but 
not  too  exorbitant." 

"Tell  me  the  amount." 

"Fifty  thousand  francs." 

"Oh!  a  mere  nothing.  Of  course  one  has  always  fifty 
thousand  francs.  Why  the  deuce  cannot  that  knave  Col- 
bert be  as  easily  satisfied  as  you  are,  and  I  should  give  my- 
self far  less  trouble  than  I  do.  When  do  you  need  this 

"To-morrow  morning;  but  you  require  to  know  its 

"Nay,  nay,  chevalier,  I  need  no  explanation." 

"To-morrow  is  the  first  of  June." 


"One  of  our  bonds  becomes  due." 

"I  did  not  know  we  had  any  bonds." 

"Certainly,  to-morrow  we  pay  our  last  third  installment." 

"What  third?" 

TEN   TEAES   LATER.  159 

"Of  the  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  to  Baisemaux." 

"Baisemaux — who  is  he?" 

"The  governor  of  the  Bastile." 

"Yes,  I  remember;  on  what  grounds  am  I  to  pay  one 
hundred  and  fifty  thousand  for  that  man?" 

"On  account  of  the  appointment  which  he,  or  rather  we, 
purchased  from  Louviere  and  Tremblay." 

"I  have  a  very  vague  recollection  of  the  whole  matter." 

"That  is  likely  enough,  for  you  have  so  many  affairs  to 
attend  to.  However,  I  do  not  believe  you  have  any  affair 
of  greater  importance  than  this  one."  • 

"Tell  me,  then,  why  we  purchased  this  appointment." 

"Why,  in  order  to  render  him  a  service  in  the  first  place, 
and  afterward  ourselves." 

"Ourselves?     You  are  joking." 

"Monseigneur,  the  time  may  come  when  the  governor  of 
the  Bastile  may  prove  a  very  excellent  acquaintance." 

"I  have  not  the  good  fortune  to  understand  you, 

"Monseigneur,  we  have  our  own  poets,  our  own  engineer, 
our  own  architect,  our  own  musicians,  our  own  printer,  and 
our  own  painters;  we  needed  our  own  governor  of  the  Bastile." 

"Do  you  think  so?" 

"Let  us  not  deceive  ourselves,  monseigneur;  we  are  very 
much  opposed  to  paying  the  Bastile  a  visit,"  added  the  prel- 
ate, displaying,  beneath  his  pale  lips,  teeth  which  were  still 
the  same  beautiful  teeth  so  admired  thirty  years  previously 
by  Marie  Michon. 

"And  you  think  it  is  not  too  much  to  pay  one  hundred 
and  fifty  thousand  francs  for  that?  I  assure  you  that  you 
generally  put  out  your  money  at  better  interest  than  that." 

"The  day  will  come  when  you  will  admit  your  mistake." 

"My  dear  D'Herblay,  the  very  day  on  which  a  man  enters 
the  Bastile,  he  is  no  longer  protected  by  the  past." 

"Yes,  he  is,  if  the  bonds  are  perfectly  regular;  besides, 
that  good  fellow  Baisemeaux  has  not  a  courtier's  heart.  I 
am  certain,  my  lord,  that  he  will  not  remain  ungrateful 
for  that  money,  without  taking  into  account,  I  repeat,  that 
I  retain  the  acknowledgments." 

"It  is  a  strange  affair;  usury  in  a  matter  of  benevolence." 

"Do  not  mix  yourself  up  with  it,  monseigneur,  if  there 
be  usury;  it  is  I  who  practice  it,  and  both  of  us  reap  the 
advantage  from  it — that  is  all." 
"Some  intrigue,  D'Herblay?" 
"I  do  not  deny  it." 

160  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

"And  Baisemeaux  an  accomplice  in  it?" 

"Why  not?  there  are  worse  accomplices  than  he.  May  I 
depend,  then,  upon  the  five  thousand  pistoles  to-morrow?" 

"Do  you  want  them  this  evening?" 

"It  would  be  better,  for  I  wish  to  start  early;  poor  Baise- 
meaux will  not  be  able  to  imagine  what  has  become  of  me, 
and  must  be  upon  thorns." 

"You  shall  have  the  amount  in  an  hour.  Ah,  D'Herblay, 
the  interest  of  your  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  francs 
will  never  pay  my  four  millions  for  me." 

"Why, not,  monseigneur?" 

"Good-night,  I  have  business  to  transact  with  my  clerks 
before  I  retire." 

"A  good  night's  rest,  monseigneur." 

"D'Herblay,  you  wish  that  which  is  impossible." 

"Shall  I  have  my  fifty  thousand  francs  this  evening?" 


"Go  to  sleep,  then,  in  perfect  safety — it  is  I  who  tell  you 
to  do  so."  Notwithstanding  this  assurance,  and  the  tone 
in  which  it  was  given,  Fouquet  left  the  room  shaking  his 
head  and  heaving  a  sigh. 



The  clock  of  St.  Paul's  was  striking  seven  as  Aramis,  on 
horseback,  dressed  as  a  simple  citizen,  that  is  to  say,  in 
colored  suit,  with  no  distinctive  mark  about  him,  except  a 
kind  of  hunting-knife  by  his  side,  passed  before  the  Street 
du  Petit  Muse,  and  stopped  opposite  the  Street  des  Tourelles, 
at  the  gate  of  the  Bastile.  Two  sentinels  were  on  duty  at 
the  gate;  they  raised  no  difficulty  about  admitting  Aramis, 
who  entered  without  dismounting,  and  they  pointed  out 
the  way  he  was  to  go  by  a  long  passage  with  buildings  on 
both  sides.  This  passage  led  to  the  drawbridge,  or,  in 
other  words,  to  the  real  entrance.  The  drawbridge  was 
down,  and  the  duty  of  the  day  was  about  being  entered 
upon.  The  sentinel  on  duty  at  the  outer  guardhouse 
stopped  Aramis'  further  progress,  asking  him,  in  a  rough 
tone  of  voice,  what  had  brought  him  there.  Aramis  ex- 
plained, with  his  usual  politeness,  that  a  wish  to  speak  to 
M.  Baisemeaux  de  Montlezun  had  occasioned  his  visit. 
The  first  sentinel  then  summoned  a  second  sentinel,  sta- 

TEN"    YEARS    LATER.  161 

tioned  within  an  inner  lodge,  who  showed  his  face  at  the 
grating,  and  inspected  the  new  arrival  very  attentively. 
Aramis  reiterated  the  expression  of  his  wish  to  see  the  gov- 
ernor, whereupon  the  sentinel  called  to  an  officer  of  lower 
grade,  who  was  walking  about  in  a  tolerably  spacious  court- 
yard, and  who,  in  his  turn,  on  being  informed  of  his  object, 
ran  to  seek  one  of  the  officers  of  the  governor's  staff.  The 
latter,  after  having  listened  to  Aramis'  request,  begged 
him  to  wait  a  moment,  then  went  away  a  short  distance, 
but  returned  to  ask  his  name.  "I  cannot  tell  it  you,  mon- 
sieur," said  Aramis;  "1  would  only  mention  that  I  have 
matters  of  such  importance  to  communicate  to  the  governor 
that  I  can  only  rely  beforehand  upon  one  thing,  that  Mon- 
sieur de  Baisemeaux  will  be  delighted  to  see  me;  nay,  more 
than  that,  when  you  shall  have  told  him  that  it  is  the  per- 
son whom  he  expected  on  the  first  of  June,  I  am  convinced 
he  will  hasten  here  himself."  The  officer  could  not  possi- 
bly believe  that  a  man  of  the  governor's  importance  should 
put  himself  out  for  a  man  of  so  little  importance  as  the 
citizen-looking  person  on  horseback. 

"It  happens  most  fortunately,  monsieur,"  he  said,  "that 
the  governor  is  Just  going  out,  and  you  can  perceive  his 
carriage,  with  the  horses  already  harnessed,  in  the  court- 
yard yonder;  there  will  be  no  occasion  for  him  to  come  to 
meet  you,  as  he  will  see  you  as  he  passes  by."  Aramis 
bowed  to  signify  his  assent;  he  did  not  wish  to  inspire 
others  with  too  exalted  an  opinion  of  himself,  and  therefore 
waited  patiently  and  in  silence,  leaning  upon  the  saddle-bow 
of  his  horse.  Ten  minutes  had  hardly  elapsed  when  the 
governor's  carriage  was  observed  to  move.  The  governor 
appeared  at  the  door,  got  into  the  carriage,  which  imme- 
diately prepared  to  start.  The  same  ceremony  was  observed 
for  the  governor  himself  as  had  been  the  case  with  a  sus- 
pected stranger;  the  sentinel  at  the  lodge  advanced  as  the 
carriage  was  about  to  pass  under  the  arch,  and  the  governor 
opened  the  carriage-door,  himself  setting  the  example  of 
obedience  to  orders;  so  that,  in  this  way,  the  sentinel  could 
convince  himself  that  none  quitted  the  Bastile  improperly. 
The  carriage  rolled  along  under  the  archway,  but  at  the 
moment  the  iron  gate  was  opened  the  officer  approached 
the  carriage,  which  had  been  again  stopped,  and  said  some- 
thing to  the  governor,  who  immediately  put  his  head  out  of 
the  doorway,  and  perceived  Aramis  on  horseback  at  the 
end  of  the  drawbridge.  He  immediately  uttered  almost  a 
shout  of  delight,  and  got  out,  or  rather  darted  out  of  his 

163  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

carriage,  running  toward  Aramis,  whose  hands  he  seized, 
making  a  thousand  apologies.     He  almost  kissed  him. 

"What  a  difficult  matter  to  enter  the  Bastile!"  said 
Aramis.  "Is  it  the  same  for  those  who  are  sent  here  against 
their  wills  as  for  those  who  come  of  their  own  accord?" 

"A  thousand  pardons,  my  lord.  How  delighted  I  am  to 
see  your  grace!" 

"Hush!  What  are  you  thinking  of,  my  dear  Monsieur 
Baisemeaux?  what  do  you  suppose  would  be  thought  of  a 
bishop  in  my  present  costume?" 

"No,  no,"  said  Aramis;  "I  have  five  thousand  pistoles  in 
the  portmanteau." 

The  governor's  countenance  became  so  radiant  that  if 
the  prisoners  had  seen  him  they  would  have  imagined  some 
prince  of  the  blood  royal  had  arrived.  "Yes,  you  are  right, 
the  horse  shall  be  taken  to  the  government  house.  Will 
you  get  into  the  carriage,  my  dear  Monsieur  d'Herblay,  and 
it  shall  take  us  back  to  my  house?" 

"Get  into  a  carriage  to  cross  a  courtyard?  do  you  believe 
1  am  so  great  an  invalid?     No,  no;  we  will  go  on  foot." 

Baisemeaux  then  offered  his  arm  as  a  support,  but  the 
prelate  did  not  accept  it.  They  arrived  in  this  manner  at 
the  government  house,  Baisemeaux  rubbing  his  hands  and 
glancing  at  the  horse  from  time  to  time,  while  Aramis  was 
looking  at  the  black  and  bare  walls.  A  tolerably  handsome 
vestibule,  a  straight  staircase  of  white  stone  led  to  the  gov- 
ernor's apartments,  who  crossed  the  antechamber,  the 
dining-room,  where  breakfast  was  being  prepared,  opened 
a  small  side  door,  and  closeted  himself  with  his  guest  in  a 
large  cabinet,  the  windows  of  which  opened  obliquely  upon 
the  courtyard  and  the  stables.  Baisemeaux  installed  the 
prelate  with  that  obsequious  politeness  of  which  a  good 
man,  or  a  grateful  man,  alone  possesses  the  secret.  An 
armchair,  a  footstool,  a  small  table  beside  him,  on  which  to 
rest  his  hand;  everything  was  prepared  by  the  governor 
himself.  With  his  own  hands,  too,  he  placed  upon  the 
table,  with  an  almost  religious  solicitude,  the  bag  contain- 
ing the  gold,  which  one  of  the  soldiers  had  brought  up  with 
the  most  respectful  devotion;  and  the  soldier  having  left 
the  room,  Baisemeaux  himself  closed  the  door  after  him, 
drew  aside  one  of  the  window-curtains,  and  looked  stead- 
fastly at  Aramis  to  see  if  the  prelate  required  anything 
further.  "Well,  my  lord,"  he  said,  still  standing,  "of  all 
men  of  their  word,  you  still  continue  to  be  the  most 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  163 

"In  matters  of  business,  dear  Monsieur  de  Baisemeaux, 
exactitude  is  not  a  virtue  only,  but  a  duty  as  well." 

"Yes,  in  matters  of  business,  certainly;  but  what  you 
have  Avith  me  is  not  of  that  character — it  is  a  service  you 
are  rendering  me," 

"Come,  confess,  dear  Monsieur  de  Baisemeaux,  that,  not- 
withstanding this  exactitude,  you  have  not  been  without  a 
little  uneasiness." 

"About  your  health,  I  certainly  have,"  stammered  out 

"1  wished  to  come  here  yesterday,  but  I  was  not  able,  as 
I  was  too  fatigued,"  continued  Aramis.  Baisemeaux 
anxiously  slipped  another  cushion  behind  his  guest's  back. 
"But,"  continued  Aramis,  "I  promised  myself  to  come  and 
pay  you  a  visit  to-day,  early  in  the  morning." 

"You  are  really  very  kind,  my  lord." 

"And  it  was  a  good  thing  for  me  that  I  was  punctual,  I 

"What  do  you  mean?" 

"Yes,  you  were  going  out."  At  which  latter  remark 
Baisemeaux  colored,  and  said,  "Yes,  it  is  true  I  was  going 

"Then  I  prevent  you,"  said  Aramis;  whereupon  the  em- 
barrassment of  Baisemeaux  became  visibly  greater.  "I  am 
putting  you  to  inconvenience,"  he  continued,  fixing  a  keen 
glance  upon  the  poor  governor;  "if  I  had  known  that  I 
should  not  have  come." 

"How  can  your  lordship  imagine  that  you  could  ever 
inconvenience  me?" 

"Confess  you  were  going  in  search  of  money." 

"No,"  stammered  out  Baisemeaux,  "no!  I  assure  you  I 
was  going  to " 

"Does  the  governor  still  intend  to  go  to  Monsieur  Fou- 
quet's?"  suddenly  called  out  the  major  from  below.  Baise- 
meaux ran  to  the  window  like  a  madman. 

"No,  no,"  he  exclaimed,  in  a  state  of  desperation;  "who 
the  deuce  is  speaking  of  Monsieur  Fouquet?  are  you  drunk 
below  there?  why  am  I  interrupted  when  I  am  engaged  on 

"You  were  going  to  Monsieur  Fouquet's,"  said  Aramis, 
biting  his  lips,  "to  Monsieur  Fouquet,  the  abbe,  or  the 

Baisemeaux  almost  made  up  his  mind  to. tell  an  untruth, 
but  he  could  not  summon  courage  to  do  so.  "To  the  sur- 
intendant," he  said. 

164  TEN"   YEARS    LATER. 

"It  is  true,  then,  that  you  were  in  want  of  money,  since 
you  were  going  to  the  person  who  gives  it  away?" 

"I  assure  you,  my  lord " 

"You  are  suspicious  of  me." 

"My  dear  lord,  it  was  the  uncertainty  and  ignorance  in 
which  I  was  as  to  where  you  were  to  be  found." 

"You  would  have  found  the  money  you  require  at  Mon- 
sieur Fouquet's,  for  he  is  a  man  whose  hand  is  always  open." 

"I  swear  that  I  should  never  have  ventured  to  ask  Mon- 
sieur Fouquet  for  money.  I  only  wished  to  ask  him  for 
your  address." 

"To  ask  Monsieur  Fouquet  for  my  address?"  exclaimed 
Aramis,  opening  his  eyes  in  real  astonishment. 

"Yes,"  said  Baisemeaux,  greatly  disturbed  by  the  glance 
which  the  prelate  fixed  upon  him,  "at  Monsieur  Fouquet's, 

"There  is  no  harm  in  that,  dear  Monsieur  Baisemeaux, 
only  I  would  ask,  why  ask  my  address  of  Monsieur  Fouquet?" 

"That  I  might  write  to  you." 

"I  understand,"  said  Aramis,  smiling,  "but  that  is  not 
what  I  meant;  I  do  not  ask  you  what  you  required  my 
address  for,  I  only  ask  why  you  should  go  to  Monsieur  Fou- 
quet for  it?" 

"Oh I"  said  Baisemeaux,  "as  Belle-Isle  is  the  property  of 
Monsieur  Fouquet,  and  as  Belle-Isle  is  in  the  diocese  of 
Vannes,  and  as  you  are  bishop  of  Vannes " 

"But,  my  dear  Baisemeaux,  since  you  knew  I  was  bishop 
of  Vannes,  you  had  no  occasion  to  ask  Monsieur  Fouquet 
for  my  address." 

"Well,  monsieur,"  said  Baisemeaux,  completely  at  bay,  "if 
I  have  acted  indiscreetly  I  beg  your  pardon  most  sincerely." 

"Nonsense,"  observed  Aramis  calmly;  "how  can  you 
possibly  have  acted  indiscreetly?"  And  while  he  composed 
his  face,  and  continued  to  smile  cheerfully  on  the  governor, 
he  was  considering  how  Baisemeaux,  who  was  not  aware  of 
his  address,  knew,  however,  that  Vannes  was  his  residence. 
"I  will  clear  all  this  up,"  he  said  to  himself;  and  then 
speaking  aloud,  added,  "Well,  my  dear  governor,  shall  we 
now  arrange  our  little  accounts?" 

"I  am  at  your  orders,  my  lord;  but  tell  me  beforehand, 
my  lord,  whether  you  will  do  me  the  honor  to  breakfast 
with  me  as  usual?" 

"Very  willingly  indeed." 

"That's  well,"  said  Baisemeaux,  as  he  struck  the  bell  be- 
fore him  three  times. 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  165 

"What  does  that  mean?"  inquired  Aramis. 

"That  I  have  some  one  to  breakfast  with  me,  and  that 
preparations  are  to  be  made  accordingly." 

"And  you  rang  thrice.  Really,  my  dear  governor,  I 
begin  to  think  you  are  acting  ceremoniously  with  me." 

"No,  indeed.  Besides,  the  least  I  can  do  is  to  receive 
you  in  the  best  way  I  can." 

"But  why  so?" 

"Because  not  a  prince,  even,  could  have  done  what  you 
have  done  for  me." 

"Nonsense!  nonsense!" 

"Nay,  I  assure  you " 

"Let  us  speak  of  other  matters,"  said  Aramis.  "Or 
rather,  tell  me  how  your  affairs  here  are  getting  on." 

"Not  overwell." 

"The  deuce!" 

"Monsieur  de  Mazarin  was  not  hard  enough." 

"Yes,  I  see;  you  require  a  government  full  of  suspicion 
— like  that  of  the  old  cardinal,  for  instance." 

"Yes;  matters  went  on  better  under  him.  The  brother 
of  his  'gray  eminence'  made  his  fortune  in  it." 

"Believe  me,  my  dear  governor,"  said  Aramis,  drawing 
closer  to  Baisemeaux,  "a  young  king  is  well  worth  an  old 
cardinal.  Youth  has  its  suspicions,  its  fits  of  anger,  its 
prejudices,  as  old  age  has  its  hatreds,  its  precautions,  and 
its  fears.  Have  you  paid  your  three  years'  profits  to  Lou- 
viere  and  to  Tremblay?" 

"Most  certainly  I  have." 

"So  that  you  have  nothing  more  to  give  them  than  the 
fifty  thousand  francs  which  I  have  brought  with  me?" 


"Have  you  not  saved  anything,  then?" 

"My  lord,  in  giving  the  fifty  thousand  francs  of  my  own 
to  these  gentlemen,  I  assure  you  that  I  give  them  every- 
thing I  gain.  I  told  Monsieur  d'Artagnan  so  yesterday 

"Ah!"  said  Aramis,  whose  eyes  sparkled  for  a  moment, 
but  became  immediately  afterward  as  unmoved  as  before; 
"so  you  have  seen  my  old  friend  D'Artagnan;  how  was  he?" 

"Wonderfully  well." 

"And  what  did  you  say  to  him,  Monsieur  de  Baisemeaux?" 

"I  told  him,"  continued  the  governor,  not  perceiving  his 
own  thoughtlessness — "I  told  him  that  I  fed  my  prisoners 
too  well." 

"How  many  have  you?"  inquired  Aramis,  in  an  indiffer- 
ent tone  of  voice. 

166  TEN"   YEARS    LATER. 


"Well,  that  is  a  tolerably  round  number." 

"In  former  times,  my  lord,  there  were,  during  certain 
years,  as  many  as  two  hundred." 

"Still,  a  minimum  of  sixty  is  not  to  be  grumbled  at." 

"Perhaps  not;  for,  to  anybody  but  myself,  each  prisoner 
would  bring  in  two  hundred  and  fifty  pistoles;  for  instance, 
for  a  prince  of  the  blood  I  have  fifty  francs  a  day." 

"Only  you  have  no  prince  of  the  blood;  at  least,  I  sup- 
pose so,"  said  Aramis,  with  a  slight  tremor  in  his  voice. 

"No,  thTink  Heaven!     I  mean,  no,  unfortunately." 

"What  do  you  mean  by  unfortunately?" 

"Because  my  appointment  would  be  improved  by  it.  So, 
fifty  francs  per  day  for  a  prince  of  the  blood,  thirty-six  for  a 
marechal  of  France " 

"But  you  have  as  many  marechals  of  France,  I  suppose, 
as  you  have  princes  of  the  blood?" 

"Alas!  yes;  it  is  true  that  lieutenant-generals  and  briga- 
diers pay  twenty-six  francs,  and  I  have  two  of  them.  After 
that  come  the  councilors  of  the  parliament,  who  bring  me 
fifteen  francs,  and  I  have  six  of  them." 

"I  did  not  know,"  said  Aramis,  "that  councilors  were  so 

"Yes;  but  from  fifteen  francs  I  sink  at  once  to  ten  francs; 
namely,  for  an  ordinary  Judge,  and  for  an  ecclesiastic." 

"And  you  have  seven,  you  say;  an  excellent  affair." 

"Nay,  a  bad  one,  and  for  this  reason.  How  can  I  possibly 
treat  these  poor  fellows,  who  are  of  some  good,  at  all  events, 
otherwise  than  as  a  councilor  of  the  parliament?" 

"Yes,  you  are  right;  I  do  not  see  five  francs'  difference 
between  them." 

"You  understand;  if  I  have  a  fine  fish,  I  pay  four  or  five 
francs  for  it;  if  I  get  a  fine  fowl,  it  costs  me  a  franc  and  a 
half.  I  fatten  a  good  deal  of  poultry,  but  I  have  to  buy 
grain,  and  you  cannot  imagine  the  multitude  of  rats  which 
infest  this  place." 

"Why  not  get  a  half  a  dozen  cats  to  deal  with  them?" 

"Cats,  indeed;  yes,  they  eat  them,  but  I  was  obliged  to 
give  up  the  idea  because  of  the  way  in  which  they  treated 
my  grain.  I  have  been  obliged  to  have  some  terrier  dogs 
sent  me  from  England  to  kill  the  rats.  The  dogs  have 
tremendous  appetites;  they  eat  as  much  as  a  prisoner  of 
the  fifth  order,  without  taking  into  account  the  rabbits  and 
fowls  they  kill."  Was  Aramis  really  listening  or  not?  No 
one  could  have  told;  his  downcast  eyes  showed  the  atten- 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  167 

tive  man,  but  the  restless  hand  betrayed  the  man  absorbed 
in  thought — Aramis  was  meditating.  "I  was  saying,"  con- 
tinued Baisemeaux,  "that  a  tolerably  sized  fowl  costs  me  a 
franc  and  a  half,  and  that  a  good-sized  fish  costs  me  four  or 
five  francs.  Three  meals  are  served  at  the  Bastile,  and,  as 
the  prisoners  have  nothing  to  do,  are  always  eating,  a  ten- 
franc  man  cost  me  seven  francs  and  a  half." 

"But  did  you  not  say  that  you  treated  those  at  ten  francs 
like  those  at  fifteen?" 

"Yes,  certainly." 

"Very  well!  Then  you  gain  seven  francs  and  a  half  upon 
those  who  pay  you  fifteen  francs." 

"I  must  compensate  myself  somehow,"  said  Baisemeaux, 
who  saw  how  he  had  been  caught. 

"You  are  quite  right,  my  dear  governor;  but  have  you 
no  prisoners  below  ten  francs?" 

"Oh,  yes!  we  have  citizens  and  barristers  at  five  francs." 

"And  do  they  eat,  too?" 

"Not  a  doubt  about  it;  only  you  understand  that  they  do 
not  get  fish  or  poultry,  nor  rich  wines  at  every  meal;  but  at 
all  events  thrice  a  week  they  have  a  good  dish  at  their 

"Eeally,  you  are  quite  a  philanthropist,  my  dear  gover- 
nor, and  you  will  ruin  yourself." 

"No;  understand  me;  when  the  fifteen  francs  has  not 
eaten  his  fowl,  or  the  ten  francs  has  left  his  dish  unfinished, 
I  send  it  to  the  five-franc  j^risoners;  it  is  a  feast  for  the 
poor  devil,  and  one  must  be  charitable,  you  know." 

"And  what  do  you  make  out  of  your  five-franc  prisoners?" 

"A  franc  and  a  half." 

"Baisemeaux,  you're  an  honest  fellow;  in  honest  truth  I 
say  so." 

"Thank  you,  my  lord.  But  I  feel  most  for  the  small 
tradesmen  and  bailiffs'  clerks,  who  are  rated  at  three  francs. 
They  do  not  often  see  Rhine  carp  or  Channel  sturgeon." 

"But  do  not  the  five-franc  gentlemen  sometimes  leave 
some  scraps?" 

"Oh!  my  lord,  do  not  believe  I  am  so  stingy  as  that;  I 
delight  the  heart  of  some  poor  little  tradesman  or  clerk  by 
sending  him  a  wing  of  a  red  partridge,  a  slice  of  venison, 
or  a  slice  of  truffled  pastry,  dishes  which  he  never  tasted 
except  in  his  dreams;  these  are  the  leavings  of  the  twenty- 
four-franc  prisoners;  and  he  eats  and  drinks,  at  dessert  he 
cries  'Long  live  the  king!'  and  blesses  the  Bastile;  with  a 
couple  of  bottles  of  champagne,  which  cost  me  five  sous,  I 

168  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

make  him  tipsy  every  Sunday.  That  class  of  people  call 
down  blessings  upon  me,  and  are  sorry  to  leave  the  prison. 
Do  you  know  that  I  have  remarked,  and  it  does  me  inhnite 
honor,  that  certain  prisoners,  who  have  been  set  at  liberty, 
have,  almost  immediately  afterward,  got  imprisoned  again? 
Why  should  this  be  the  case,  unless  it  be  to  enjoy  the 
pleasures  of  my  kitchen?  It  is  really  the  fact."  Aramis 
smiled  with  an  expression  of  incredulity. 

"You  smile,"  said  Baisemeaux. 

"I  do,"  returned  Aramis. 

"I  tell  you  that  we  have  names  which  have  been  inscribed 
on  our  books  thrice  in  the  space  of  two  years." 

"I  must  see  it  before  I  believe  it,"  said  Aramis. 

"Well,  I  can  show  it  to  you,  although  it  is  prohibited  to 
communicate  the  register  to  strangers;  and  if  you  really 
wish  to  see  it  with  your  own  eyes " 

"I  should  be  delighted,  I  confess  " 

"Very  well,"  said  Baisemeax;  and  he  took  out  of  a 
cupboard  a  large  register.  Aramis  followed  him  most 
anxiously  with  his  eyes,  and  Baisemeaux  returned,  placed 
the  register  upon  the  table,  and  turned  over  the  leaves  for 
a  minute,  and  stayed  at  the  letter  M. 

"Look  here,"  said  he,  " 'Martinier,  January,  1659;  Mar- 
tinier,  June,  1660;  Martinier,  March,  1661.'  Mazarinades, 
etc.;  you  understand  it  was  only  a  pretext;  people  were  not 
sent  to  the  Bastile  for  jokes  against  Monsieur  Mazarin;  the 
fellow  denounced  himself  in  order  to  get  imprisoned  here." 

"And  what  was  his  object?" 

"None  other  than  to  return  to  my  kitchen  at  three  francs 
the  head." 

"Three  francs — poor  devil!" 

"The  poet,  my  lord,  belongs  to  the  lowest  scale,  the  same 
style  of  board  as  the  small  tradesman  and  bailifE's  clerk; 
but  I  repeat,  it  is  to  these  people  only  that  I  give  those 
little  surprises." 

Aramis  mechanically  turned  over  the  leaves  of  the  regis- 
ter, continuing  to  read  the  names,  but  without  appearing 
to  take  any  interest  in  the  names  he  read. 

"In  1661,.  you  perceive,"  said  Baisemeaux,  "eighty  en- 
tries; and  in  1659,  eighty  also." 

"Ah!"  said  Aramis.  "Seldon;  I  seem  to  know  that 
name.  Was  it  not  you  who  spoke  to  me  about  a  certain 
young  man?" 

"Yes,  a  poor  devil  of  a  student,  who  made —  What  do 
you  call  that  where  two  Latin  verses  rhyme  together?" 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  169 

**A  distich." 

"Yes;  that  is  it." 

''Poor  fellow;  for  a  distich." 

"Do  you  not  know  that  he  made  a  distich  against  the 

"That  makes  no  difference;  the  punishment  seems  very 

"Do  not  pity  him;  last  year  you  seemed  to  interest  your- 
self in  him." 

"Yes,  I  did  so." 

"Well,  as  your  interest  is  all-powerful  here,  my  lord,  I  have, 
treated  him  since  that  time  as  a  prisoner  at  fifteen  francs." 

"The- same  as  this  one,  then,"  said  Aramis,  who  had  con- 
tinued turning  over  the  leaves,  and  who  had  stopped  at  one 
of  the  names  which  followed  Martinier. 

"Yes,  the  same  as  that  one." 
.  "Is  that  Marchiali  an  Italian?"  said   Aramis,  pointing 
with    his  finger  to   the   name   which    had    attracted   his 

"Hush!"  said  Baisemeaux. 

"Why  hush?"  said  Aramis,  involuntarily  clinching  his 
white  hand. 

"I  thought  I  had  already  spoken  to  you  about  that 

"No;  it  is  the  first  time  I  ever  heard  his  name  pro- 

"That  may  be;  but  I  may  have  spoken  to  you  about  him 
without  naming  him," 

"Is  he  an  old  offender?"  asked  Aramis,  attempting  to 

"On  the  contrary,  he  is  quite  young." 

"Is  his  crime,  then,  very  heinous?" 


"Has  he  assassinated  any  one?" 


"An  incendiary,  then?" 


"Has  he  slandered  any  one^" 

"No,  no!  It  is  he  who — "  and  Baisemeaux  approached 
Aramis'  ear,  Aiaking  a  sort  of  ear-trumpet  of  his  hands, 
and  whispered,  "It  is  he  who  presumes  to  resemble  the " 

"Yes,  yes,"  said  Aramis,  "I  now  remember  you  already 
spoke  about  it  last  year  to  me;  but  the  crime  appeared  to 
me  so  slight." 

"Slight,  do  you  say?" 
DuiiAs— Vol.  XT.  8 

170  TEN   TEAES   LATER. 

"Or,  rather,  so  involuntary." 

"My  lord,  it  is  not  involuntarily  that  such  a  resemblance 
is  detected." 

"Well,  the  fact  is,  I  had  forgotten  it.  But,  my  dear 
host,"  said  Aramis,  closing  the  register,  "if  I  am  not  mis- 
taken, we  are  summoned." 

Baisemeaux  took  the  register,  hastily  restored  it  to  its 
place  in  the  closet,  which  he  closed,  and  put  the  key  in  his 
pocket.  "Will  it  be  agreeable  to  your  lordship  to  break- 
fast now?"  said  he;  "for  you  are  right  in  supposing  that 
breakfast  was  announced." 

"Assuredly,  my  dear  governor;"  and  they  passed  into  the 



Aramis  was  generally  temperate;  but  on  this  occasion, 
while  taking  every  care  with  regard  to  himself,  he  did 
ample  justice  to  Baisemeaux's  breakfast,  which,  in  every 
respect,  was  most  excellent.  The  latter,  on  his  side,  was 
animated  with  the  wildest  gayety;  the  sight  of  the  five 
thousand  pistoles,  which  he  glanced  at  from  time  to  time, 
seemed  to  open  his  heart.  Every  now  and  then  he  looked 
at  Aramis  with  an  expression  of  the  deepest  gratitude; 
while  the  latter,  leaning  back  in  his  chair,  sipped  a  few 
drops  of  wine  from  his  glass,  with  the  air  of  a  connoisseur. 
"Let  me  never  hear  an  ill  word  against  the  fare  of  the 
Bastile,"  said  he,  half-closing  his  eyes;  "happy  are  the 
prisoners  who  can  get  only  half  a  bottle  of  this  Burgundy 
every  day." 

"All  those  at  fifteen  francs  drink  it,"  said  Baisemeaux. 
"It  is  very  old  Volnay." 

"Does  that  poor  student,  Seldon,  drink  such  good  wine?" 

"Oh,  no!" 

"I  thought  I  heard  you  say  he  was  boarded  at  fifteen 
francs."  • 

"He!  no,  indeed;  a  man  who  makes  districts — distichs,  I 
mean — at  fifteen  francs!  No,  no!  it  is  his  neighbor  who  is 
at  fifteen  francs." 

"Which  neighbor?" 

"The  other,  the  second  Bertaudicre." 

TE]Sr  YEARS  LATEE.  171 

"Excuse  me,  my  dear  governor;  but  you  speak  a  language 
which  requires  an  apprenticeship  to  understand." 

"Very  true,"  said  the  governor,  "Allow  me  to  explain: 
the  second  Bertaudiere  is  the  person  who  occupies  the 
second  floor  of  the  tower  of  the  Bertaudiere." 

"So  that  Bertaudiere  is  the  name  of  one  of  the  towers  of 
the  Bastile?  The  fact  is,  I  think  I  recollect  hearing  that 
each  tower  has  a  name  of  its  own.  Whereabouts  is  the  one 
you  are  speaking  of?" 

"Look,"  said  Baisemeaux,  going  to  the  window.  "It  is 
that  tower  to  the  1  ft — the  second  one." 

"Is  the  prisoner  at  fifteen  francs  there?" 


"Since  when?" 

"Seven  or  eight  years,  nearly." 

"What  do  you  mean  by  nearly?  Do  you  not  know  the 
dates  more  precisely?" 

"It  was  not  in  my  time,  dear  Monsieur  d'Herblay." 

"But  I  should  have  thought  that  Louvi^re  or  Tremblay 
would  have  told  you." 

"The  secrets  of  the  Bastile  are  never  handed  over  with 
the  keys  of  the  governorship  of  it." 

"Indeed!  Then  the  cause  of  his  imprisonment  is  a  mys- 
tery— a  state  secret." 

"Oh,  no!  I  do  not  suppose  it  is  a  state  secret,  but  a 
secret  like  everything  else  that  happens  at  the  Bastile." 

"But,"  said  Aramis,  "why  do  you  speak  more  freely  of 
Seldon  than  of  the  second  Bertaudiere?" 

"Because,  in  my  opinion,  the  crime  of  the  man  who 
writes  a  distich  is  not  so  great  as  that  of  the  man  who 
resembles " 

"Yes,  yes;  I  understand  you.  Still,  do  not  the  turn- 
keys talk  with  your  prisoners?" 

"Of  course." 

"The  prisoners,  I  suppose,  tell  them  they  are  not  guilty?" 

"They  are  always  telling  them  that;  it  is  a  matter  of 
course;  the  same  song  over  and  over  again." 

"But  does  not  the  resemblance  you  Avere  speaking  about 
just  now  strike  the  turnkeys?" 

"My  dear  Monsieur  d'Herblay,  it  is  only  for  men  attached 
to  the  court,  as  you  are,  to  take  any  trouble  about  such 

"You're  right,  you're  right,  my  dear  Monsieur  Baise- 
meaux.     Let  me  give  you  another  taste  of  this  Volnay." 

"Not  a  taste  merely,  a  full  glass;  fill  yours,  too." 

173  TEN    YEARS   LATER. 

"Nay,  nay!  You  are  a  musketeer  still,  to  the  very  tips 
of  your  fingers,  while  I  have  become  a  bishop.  A  taste  for 
me;  a  glass  for  yourself . " 

"As  you  please."  And  Aramis  and  the  governor  nodded 
to  each  other  as  they  drank  their  wine.  "But,"  said 
Aramis,  looking  with  fixed  attention  at  the  ruby-colored 
wine  he  had  raised  to  the  level  of  his  eyes,  as  if  he  wished  to 
enjoy  it  with  all  his  senses  at  the  same  moment;  "but  what 
you  might  call  a  resemblance,  another  would  not,  perhaps, 
take  any  notice  of." 

"Most  certainly  he  would,  though,  if  it  were  any  one 
who  knew  the  person  he  resembles." 

"I  really  think,  dear  Monsieur  de  Baisemeaux,  that  it 
can  be  nothing  more  than  a  resemblance  of  your  own 

"Upon  my  honor,  it  is  not  so." 

"Stay,"  continued  Aramis.  "I  have  seen  many  persons 
very  like  the  one  we  are  speaking  of;  but  out  of  respect 
no  one  ever  said  anything  about  it." 

"Very  likely;  because  there  are  resemblances  and  resem- 
blances. This  is  a  striking  one,  and  if  you  were  to  see 
him  you  would  admit  it  to  be  so." 

"If  I  were  to  see  him,  indeed,"  said  Aramis,  in  an  in- 
different tone;  "but  in  all  probability  I  never  shall." 

"Why  not?" 

"Because  if  I  were  even  to  put  my  foot  inside  one- of 
those  horrible  dungeons  I  should  fancy  I  was  buried  there 

"No,  no;  the  cells  are  very  good  as  places  to  live  in.^' 

"I  really  do  not,  and  cannot  believe  it,  and  that  is  a 

"Pray  do  not  speak  ill  of  the  second  Bertaudiere.  It  is 
really  a  good  room,  very  nicely  furnished  and  carpeted. 
The  young  fellow  has  by  no  means  been  unhappy  there;  the 
best  lodging  the  Bastile  affords  has  been  his.  There  is  a 
chance  for  you." 

"Nay,  nay,"  said  Aramis  coldly;  "you  will  never  make 
me  believe  there  are  any  good  rooms  in  the  Bastile;  and 
as  for  your  carpets,  they  exist  in  your  imagination.  I 
should  find  nothing  but  spiders,  rats,  and  perhaps  toads, 

"Toads?"  said  Baisemeaux. 

"Yes,  in  the  dungeons." 

"Ah!    I  don't  say  there  are  not  toads  in  the  dungeons,*' 


replied  Baisemeanx.  "But — will  you  be  convinced  by  your 
own  eyes?"  he  continued,  with  sudden  impulse. 

"No,  certainly  not." 

"Not  even  to  satisfy  yourself  of  the  resemblance  which 
you  deny,  as  you  do  the  carpets?" 

"Some  spectral-looking  person,  a  mere  shadow;  an  un- 
happy, dying  man," 

"Nothing  of  the  kind — as  brisk  and  vigorous  a  young 
fellow  as  ever  lived." 

"Melancholy  and  ill-tempered,  then?" 

"Not  at  all;  very  gay  and  lively." 

"Nonsense;  you  are  joking." 

"Will  you  follow  me?"  said  Baisemeaux. 

"What  for?" 

"To  go  the  round  of  the  Bastile." 


"You  will  then  see  for  yourself — see  with  your  eyes." 

"But  the  regulations?" 

"Never  mind  them.  To-day  my  major  has  leave  of 
absence;  the  lieutenant  is  visiting  the  post  on  the  bastions; 
we  are  masters  of  the  position." 

"No,  no,  my  dear  governor;  why,  the  very  idea  of  the 
sound  of  the  bolts  makes  me  shudder.  You  will  only  have 
to  forget  me  in  the  second  or  fourth  Bertaudiere,  and 
then " 

"You  are  refusing  an  opportunity  that  may  never  present 
itself  again.  Do  you  know  that  to  obtain  the  favor  I  pro- 
pose to  you  gratis  some  of  the  princes  of  the  blood  have 
offered  me  as  much  as  fifty  thousand  francs." 

"Really!  he  must  be  worth  seeing,  then?" 

"Forbidden  fruit,  my  lord;  forbidden  fruit.  You  who 
belong  to  the  church  ought  to  know  that." 

"Well,  if  I  had  any  curiosity  it  would  be  to  see  the  poor 
author  of  the  distich." 

"Very  well,  we  will  see  him  too;  but  if  I  were  at  all 
curious  it  would  be  about  the  beautiful  carpeted  room  and 
its  lodger," 

"Furniture  is  very  commonplace;  and  a  face  with  no  ex- 
pression in  it  offers  little  or  no  interest." 

"But  a  boarder  at  fifteen  francs  is  always  interesting." 

"By  the  bye,  I  forgot  to  ask  you.  about  that.  Why  fifteen 
francs  for  him,  and  only  three  francs  for  poor  Seldon?" 

"The  distinction  made  in  that  instance  was  a  truly  noble 
act,  and  one  which  displayed  the  king's  goodness  of  heart 
to  great  advantage." 

174  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

"The  king's,  you  say?" 

*'The  cardinal's,  I  mean;  'this  unhappy  man/  said  M. 
Mazarin,  'is  destined  to  remain  in  prison  forever.'  " 

"Why  so?" 

"Why,  it  seems  that  his  crime  is  a  lasting  one;  and,  con- 
sequently, his  punishment  ought  to  be  so  too." 


"No'doubt  of  it;  unless  he  is  fortunate  enough  to  catch 
the  smallpox,  and  even  that  is  diflBcult,  for  we  never  get 
any  impure  air  here." 

"Nothing  can  be  more  ingenious  than  your  train  of 
reasoning,  my  dear  Monsieur  de  Baisemeaux.  Do  you, 
however,  mean  to  say  that  this  unfortunate  man  must  suffer 
without  interruption  or  termination?" 

"I  did  not  say  he  was  to  suffer,  my  lord;  a  fifteen-francs 
boarder  does  not  suffer." 

"He  suffers  imprisonment  at  all  events." 

"No  doubt;  there  is  no  help  for  it;  but  this  suffering  is 
sweetened  for  him.  You  must  admit  that  this  young  fellow 
was  not  born  to  eat  all  the  good  things  he  does  eat;  for 
instance,  such  things  as  we  have  on  the  table  now;  this 
pastry  that  has  not  been  touched,  these  crawfish  from  the 
river 'Marne,  of  which  we  have  hardly  taken  any,  and  which 
are  almost  as  large  as  lobsters;  all  these  things  will  at  once 
be  taken  to  the  second  Bertaudiere,  with  a  bottle  of  that 
Volnay  Avhich  you  think  so  excellent.  After  you  have  seen 
it  you  will  believe  it,  I  hope." 

"Yes,  my  dear  governor,  certainly;  but  all  this  time  you 
are  thinking  only  of  your  very  happy  fifteen-francs  prisoner, 
and  you  forget  poor  Seldou,  my  2)rotcge." 

"Well,  out  of  consideration  for  you  it  shall  be  a  gala  day 
for  him;  he  shall  have  some  biscuits  and  preserves  with  this 
small  bottle  of  port." 

"You  are  a  good-hearted  fellow;  I  have  said  so  already, 
and  I  repeat  it,  my  dear  Baisemeaux." 

"Well,  let  us  set  off,  then,"  said  the  governor,  a  little 
bewildered,  partly  from  the  wine  he  had  drunk,  and  partly 
from  Aramis'  praises. 

"Do  not  forget  that  I  only  go  to  oblige  you,"  said  the 

"Very  well;  but  you  will  thank  me  when  you  get  there." 

"Let  us  go,  then." 

"Wait  until  I  have  summoned  the  jailer,"  said  Baise- 
meaux, as  he  struck  the  bell  twice;  at  which  summons  a 

TEN   YEAKS   LATER.  175 

man  appeared,  "I  am  going  to  visit  the  towers,"  said  the 
governor.     "No  guards,  no  drums,  no  noise  at  all." 

"If  I  were  not  to  leave  my  cloak  here,"  said  Aramis,  pre- 
tending to  be  alarmed,  "I  should  really  think  I  was  going 
to  prison  on  my  own  account."  The  jailer  preceded  the 
governor,  Aramis  walking  on  his  right  hand;  some  of  the 
soldiers  who  happened  to  be  in  the  courtyard  drew  them- 
selves up  in  line,  as  stiff  as  posts,  as  the  governor  passed 
along.  Baisemeaux  led  the  way  down  several  steps  which 
conducted  to  a  sort  of  esplanade;  thence  they  arrived  at  the 
drawbridge,  where  the.  sentinels  on  duty  received  the  gov- 
ernor with  the  proper  honors.  The  governor  turned  toward 
Aramis,  and,  speaking  in  such  a  tone  that  the  sentinels 
could  not  lose  a  word  he  said,  observed:  "I  hope  you  have 
a  good  memory,  monsieur?" 

"Why?"  inquired  Aramis. 

"On  account  of  your  plans  and  your  measurements,  for 
you  know  that  no  one  is  allowed,  not  architects  even,  to 
enter  where  the  prisoners  are,  with  paper,  pens,  or  pencils." 

"Good,"  said  Aramis  to  himself,  "it  seems  I  am  an  archi- 
tect, then?  It  sounds  like  one  of  D'Artagnan's  jokes,  who 
saw  me  acting  as  an  engineer  at  Belle-Isle."  Then  he 
added  aloud,  "Be  easy  on  that  score,  monsieur;  in  our  pro- 
fession a  mere  glance  and  a  good  memory  are  quite 

Baisemeaux  did  not  change  countenance,  and  the  soldiers 
took  Aramis  for  what  he  seemed  to  be.  "Very  well;  we 
will  first  visit  La  Bertaudiere,"  said  Baisemeaux,  still  in- 
tending the  sentinels  to  hear  him.  Then,  turning  to  the 
jailer,  he  added,  "you  will  take  the  opportunity  of  carry- 
ing to  No.  2  the  few  dainties  I  pointed  out." 

"Dear  Monsieur  de  Baisemeaux,"  said  Aramis,  "you  are 
always  forgetting  No.  3." 

"So  I  am,"  said  the  governor;  and  upon  that  they  be- 
gan to  ascend.  The  number  of  bolts,  gratings,  and  locks 
for  this  single  courtyard  would  have  sufficed  for  the  safety 
of  an  entire  city.  Aramis  was  neither  an  imaginative  nor  a 
sensitive  man;  he  had  been  somewhat  of  a  poet  in  his  youth, 
but  his  heart  was  hard  and  indifferent,  as  the  heart  of  every 
man  of  fifty-five  years  of  age  is,  who  has  been  frequently 
and  passionately  attached  to  women  in  his  lifetime,  or 
rather,  who  has  been  passionately  loved  by  them.  But 
when  he  placed  his  foot  upon  the  worn  stone  steps,  along 
which  so  many  unhappy  wretches  had  passed,  when  he  felt 
himself  impregnated,  as   it  were,  with  the  atmosphere  of 

176  TEN   YEARS    LATER. 

those  gloomy  dungeons,  moistened  with  tears,  there  conld 
be  but  little  doubt  he  was  overcome  by  his  feelings,  for  his 
head  was  bowed  and  his  eyes  became  dim  as  he  followed 
Baisemeaux  without  uttering  a  syllable. 



On  the  second  flight  of  stairs,  whether  from  fatigue  or 
emotion,  the  breathing  of  the  visitor  began  to  fail  him,  and 
he  leaned  against  the  wall.  "Will  you  begin  by  this  one?" 
said  Baisemeaux;  "for  since  we  are  going  to  both,  it  mat- 
ters very  little  whether  we  ascend  from  the  second  to  the 
third  story,  or  descend  from  the  third  to  the  second." 

"No,  no,"  exclaimed  Aramis  eagerly,  "higher,  if  you 
please;  the  one  above  is  the  more  urgent."  They  con- 
tinued their  ascent.  "Ask  the  jailer  for  the  keys?"  whis- 
pered Aramis.  Baisemeaux  did  so,  took  the  keys,  and 
himself  opened  the  door  of  the  third  room.  The  jailer 
was  the  first  to  enter;  he  placed  upon  the  table  the  provi- 
sions, which  the  kind-hearted  governor  called  dainties,  and 
then  left  the  room.  The  prisoner  had  not  stirred;  Baise- 
meaux then  entered,  while  Aramis  remained  at  the  thresh- 
old, from  which  place  he  saw  a  youth  about  eighteen  years 
of  age,  who,  raising  his  head  at  the  unusual  noise,  jumped 
off  the  bed  as  he  perceived  the  governor,  and  clasping  his 
hands  together,  began  to  cry  out,  "My  mother,  my  mother!" 
in  tones  which  betrayed  such  deep  distress  that  Aramis, 
despite  his  command  over  himself,  felt  a  shudder  pass 
through  his  frame.  "My  dear  boy,"  said  Baisemeaux,  en- 
deavoring to  smile,  "I  have  brought  you  a  diversion  and  an 
extra — the  one  for  the  mind,  the  other  for  the  body;  this 
gentleman  has  come  to  take  your  measure,  and  here  are 
some  preserves  for  your  dessert." 

"Oh,  monsieur!"  exclaimed  the  young  man,  "keep  me 
in  solitude  for  a  year,  let  me  have  nothing  but  bread  and 
water  for  a  year,  but  tell  me  that  at  the  end  of  a  year  I  shall 
leave  this  place,  tell  me  that  at  the  end  of  a  year  I  shall 
then  see  my  mother  again." 

"But  I  have  heard  you  say  that  your  mother  was  very 
poor,  and  that  you  were  very  badly  lodged  when  you  were 
living  with  her,  while  here — upon  my  word!" 

"If  she  were  poor,  monsieur,  the  greater  reason  to  restore 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  177 

her  only  means  of  support  to  her.  Badly  lodged  with  her! 
oh,  monsieur,  every  one  is  well  lodged  when  he  is  free." 

"At  all  events,  since  you  yourself  admit  you  have  done 
nothing  but  write  that  unhappy  distich " 

"But  without  any  intention,  I  swear.  Let  me  be  pun- 
ished— cut  off  the  hand  which  wrote  it,  I  will  work  with 
the  other — but  restore  my  mother  to  me." 

"My  boy,"  said  Baisemeaux,  "you  know  very  well  that 
it  does  not  depend  upon  me;  all  I  can  do  for  you  is  to  in- 
crease your  rations,  give  you  a  glass  of  port  wine  now  and 
then,  slip  in  a  biscuit  for  you  between  a  couple  of  plates." 

"Great  Heaven!"  exclaimed  the  young  man,  falling  back- 
ward and  rolling  on  the  ground. 

Aramis,  unable  to  bear  this  scene  any  longer,  withdrew 
as  far  as  the  landing.  "Unhappy,  wretched  man,"  he 

"Yes,  monsieur,  he  is  indeed  very  wretched,"  said  the 
jailer;  "but  it  is  his  jDarents'  fault." 

"In  what  way?" 

"No  doubt.  Why  did  they  let  him  learn  Lr.tin?  Too 
much  knowledge,  you  see;  it  is  that  which  does  harm. 
Now  I,  for  instance,  can't  read  or  write,  and  therefore  I  am 
not  in  prison."  Aramis  looked  at  the  man,  who  seemed  to 
think  that  being  a  jailer  in  the  Bastile  was  not  being  in 
prison.  As  for  Baisemeaux,  noticing  the  little  effect  pro- 
duced by  his  advice  and  his  port  wine,  he  left  the  dungeon 
quite  upset.  "You  have  forgotten  to  close  the  door,"  said 
the  jailer. 

"So  I  have,"  said  Baisemeaux;  "there  are  the  keys,  do 
you  do  it." 

"I  will  solicit  the  pardon  of  that  poor  boy,"  said  Aramis. 

"And  if  you  do  not  succeed,"  said  Baisemeaux,  "at  least 
beg  that  he  may  be  transferred  to  the  ten-franc  list,  by 
which  both  he  and  I  shall  be  gainers." 

"If  the  other  prisoner  calls  out  for  his  mother  in  a  similar 
manner,"  said  Aramis,  "I  prefer  not  to  enter  at  all,  but 
will  take  my  measure  from  outside." 

"No  fear  of  that.  Monsieur  Architect,  the  one  we  are 
now  going  to  see  is  as  gentle  as  a  lamb;  before  he  could  call 
after  his  mother  he  must  open  his  lips,  and  he  never  says  a 

"Let  us  go  in,  then,"  said  Aramis  gloomily. 

"Are  you  the  architect  of  the  prisons,  monsieur?"  said 
the  jailer. 


178  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

"It  is  odd,  then,  that  you  are  not  more  accustomed  to  all 

Aramis  perceived  that  to  avoid  giving  rise  to  any  suspicions 
he  must  summon  all  his  strength  of  mind  to  his  assistance. 
Baisemeaux,  who  carried  the  keys,  opened  the  door.  "Stay 
outside,"  he  said  to  the  jailer,  "and  wait  for  us  at  the  bot- 
tom of  the  steps."     The  jailer  obeyed  and  withdrew. 

Baisemeaux  entered  the  first,  and  opened  the  second  door 
himself.  By  the  light  which  filtered  through  the  irou- 
barred  window  could  be  seen  a  handsome  young  man,  short 
in  stature,  with  closely  cut  hair,  and  a  beard  beginning  to 
grow;  he  was  sitting  on  a  stool,  his  elbow  resting  on  an 
armchair,  and  all  the  upper  part  of  his  body  reclining 
against  it.  His  dress,  thrown  upon  the  bed,  was  of  rich 
black  velvet,  and  he  inhaled  the  fresh  air  which  blew  in 
upon  his  breast  through  a  shirt  of  the  very  finest  cambric. 
As  the  governor  entered  the  young  man  turned  his  head 
with  a  look  full  of  indifference,  and  on  recognizing  Baise- 
meaux he  arose  and  saluted  him  courteously.  But  when 
his  eyes  fell  upon  Aramis,  who  remained  in  the  background, 
the  latter  trembled,  turned  pale,  and  his  hat,  which  he  held 
in  his  hand,  fell  upon  the  ground,  as  if  all  his  muscles  had 
become  relaxed  at  once.  Baisemeaux,  habituated  to  the 
presence  of  his  prisoner,  did  not  seem  to  share  any  of  the 
sensations  which  Aramis  experienced,  but,  with  all  the  zeal 
of  a  good  servant,  he  busied  himself  in  arranging  on  the 
table  the  pastry  and  crawfish  he  had  brought  with  him. 
Occupied  in  this  manner,  he  did  not  remark  how  disturbed 
his  guest  had  become.  When  he  had  finished,  however,  he 
turned  to  the  young  prisoner  and  said:  "You  are  looking 
very  well — are  you  so?" 

"Quite  well,  I  thank  you,  monsieur,"  replied  the  young 

The  effect  of  the  voice  was  such  as  almost  to  overpower 
Aramis,  and,  notwithstanding  his  control  over  himself,  he 
advanced  a  few  steps  toward  him,  with  his  eyes  wide  open, 
and  his  lips  trembliug.  The  movement  he  made  was  so 
marked  that  Baisemeaux,  notwithstanding  his  occupation, 
observed  it.  "This  gentleman  is  an  architect,  who  has 
come  to  examine  your  chimney,"  said  Baisemeaux;  "does 
it  smoke?" 

"Never,  monsieur." 

"You  were  saying  just  now,"  said  the  governor,  rubbing 
his  hands  together,  "that  it  was  not  possible  for  a  man  to 
be  happy  in  prison;  here,  however,  is  one  who  is  so.  You 
have  nothing  to  complain  of,  I  hope?" 

TEN"   YEAKS    LATER.  179 


"Do  you  ever  feel  wearied?"  said  Aramis. 


"Ha!  ha!"  said  Baisemeaux,  in  a  low  tone  of  voice;  "was 
I  right?" 

"Well,  my  dear  governor,  it  is  impossible  not  to  yield  to 
evidence.     Is  it  allowed  to  put  any  question  to  him?" 

"As  many  as  you  like." 

"Very  well;  be  good  enough  to  ask  him  if  he  know^  why 
he  is  here." 

"This  gentleman  requests  me  to  ask  you,"  said  Baise- 
meaux,  "if  you  are  aware  of  the  cause  of  your  imprison- 

"No,  monsieur,"  said  the  young  man  unaffectedly,  "I 
am  not." 

"That  is  hardly  possible,"  said  Aji-amis,  carried  away  by 
his  feelings  in  spite  of  himself;  "if  you  were  really  ignorant 
of  the  cause  of  your  detention  you  would  be  furious." 

"I  was  so  during  the  early  days  of  my  imprisonment." 

"Why  are  you  not  so  now?" 

"Because  I  have  reflected." 

"That  is  strange,"  said  Aramis. 

"Is  it  not  odd?"  said  Baisemeaux. 

"May  one  venture  to  ask  you,  monsieur,  on  what  you 
have  reflected?" 

"I  felt  that  as  I  had  committed  no  crime  Heaven  could 
not  punish  me." 

"What  is  a  prison,  then,"  inquired  Aramis,  "if  it  be  not 
a  punishment?" 

"Alas!  I  cannot  tell,"  said  the  young  man;  "all  that  I 
can  tell  you  now  is  the  very  opposite  of  what  I  felt  seven 
years  ago." 

"To  hear  you  converse,  to  witness  your  resignation,  one 
might  almost  believe  that  you  liked  your  imprisonment?" 

"I  endure  it." 

"In  the  certainty  of  recovering  your  freedom  some  day, 
I  suppose?" 

"I  have  no  certainty;  hope  I  have,  and  that  is  all;  and 
yet  I  acknowledge  that  this  hope  becomes  less  every  day." 

"Still,  why  should  you  not  again  be  free,  since  you  have 
already  been  so?" 

"That  is  precisely  the  reason,"  replied  the  young  man, 
"which  prevents  me  expecting  liberty.  Why  should  I  have 
been  imprisoned  at  all  if  it  had  been  intended  to  release  me 

180  TEN   "YEAKS  LATEK. 

"How  old  are  you?" 

"I  do  not  know." 

"What  is  your  name?" 

"I  have  forgotten  the  name  by  which  I  was  called." 

"Who  are  your  parents?" 

"I  never  knew  them." 

"But  those  who  brought  you  up?" 

"They  did  not  call  me  their  son." 

"Did  you  ever  love  any  one  before  coming  here?*' 

"f  loved  my  nurse  and  my  flowers." 

"Was  that  all?" 

"I  also  loved  my  valet." 

"Do  you  regret  your  nurse  and  your  valet?" 

"I  wept  very  much  when  they  died." 

"Did  they  die  since  you  have  b^eu  here,  or  before  you 
came?"  ^ 

"They  died  the  evening  before  I  was  carried  off." 

"Both  at  the  same  time?" 

"Yes,  both  at  the  same  time." 

"In  what  manner  were  you  carried  off?" 

"A  man  came  for  me,  directed  me  to  get  into  a  carriage, 
"which  was  closed  and  locked,  and  brought  me  here." 

"Would  you  be  able  to  recognize  that  man  again?" 

"He  was  masked." 

"Is  not  this  an  extraordinary  tale?"  said  Baisemeaux,  in 
a  low  tone  of  voice,  to  Aramis,  who  could  hardly  breathe. 

"It  is  indeed  extraordinary,"  he  murmured. 

"But  what  is  still  more  extraordinary  is,  that  he  has 
never  told  me  so  much  as  he  has  just  told  you." 

"Perhai3S  the  reason  may  be  that  you  have  never  ques- 
tioned him,"  said  Aramis. 

"It's  possible,"  replied  Baisemeaux;  "I  have  no  curiosity. 
Have  you  looked  at  the  room;  it's  a  fine  one,  is  it  not?" 

"Very  much  so." 

"A  carpet " 


"I'll  wager  he  had  nothing  like  it  before  he  came  here." 

"I  think  so,  too."  And  then,  again  turning  toward  the 
young  man,  he  said:  "Do  you  not  remember  to  have  been 
visited  at  some  time  or  another  by  a  strange  lady  or  gentle- 

"Yes,  indeed;  thrice  by  a  woman,  who  each  time  came 
to  the  door  in  a  carriage,  and  entered  covered  with  a  veil, 
which  she  raised  when  we  were  together  and  alone. '^ 

"Do  you  remember  that  woman?" 

TEN   YEAES   LATER.  181 


"What  did  she  say  to  you?" 

The  yoiuig  man  smiled  mournfully,  and  then  replied: 
"She  inquired,  as  you  have  just  done,  if  I  were  happy,  and 
if  I  were  getting  weary?" 

"What  did  she  do  on  arriving  and  on  leaving  you?" 

"She  pressed  me  in  her  arms,  held  me  in  her  embrace, 
and  kissed  me." 

"Do  you  remember  her?" 


"Do  you  recall  her  features  distinctly?" 


"You  would  recognize  her,  then,  if  accident  brought  her 
before  you,  or  led  you  into  her  presence?" 

"Most  certainly." 

A  flush  of  fleeting  satisfaction  passed  across  Aramis' 
face.  At  this  moment  Baisemeaux  heard  the  jailer  ap- 
proaching.    "Shall  we  leave?"  he  said  hastily,  to  Aramis. 

Aramis,  who  probably  had  learned  all  that  he  cared  to 
know,  replied,  "When  you  like." 

The  young  man  saw  them  prepare  to  leave,  and  saluted 
them  politely.  Baisemeaux  replied  merely  by  a  nod  of  the 
head,  while  Aramis,  with  a  respect  arising,  perhaps,  from 
the  sight  of  such  misfortune,  saluted  the  prisoner  pro- 
foundly. They  left  the  room,  Baisemeaux  closing  the  door 
behind  them. 

"Well,"  said  Baisemeaux  as  they  descended  the  stair- 
case, "what  do  you  think  of  it  all?" 

"I  -have  discovered  the  secret,  my  dear  governor,"  he 
said.  * 

"Bah!  what  is  the  secret,  then?" 

"A  murder  was  committed  in  that  house." 


"But  attend:  the  valet  and  the  nurse  died  the  same  day." 


"And  by  poison.     What  do  you  think?" 

"That  it  is  very  likely  to  be  true." 

"What!  that  that  young  man  is  an  assassin?" 

"Who  said  that?  What  makes  you  think  that  poor  young 
fellow  could  be  an  assassin?" 

"The  very  thing  I  was  saying.  A  crime  was  committed 
in  his  house,"  said  Aramis,  "and  that  was  quite  sufficient; 
perhaps  he  saw  the  criminals,  and  it  was  feared  that  he 
might  say  something." 

"The  deuce!  if  I  only  thought  that " 

183  TEN   TEAKS   LATER. 


"I  would  redouble  the  surveillance.'* 

"Oh,  he  does  not  seem  to  wish  to  escape." 

"You  do  not  know  what  prisoners  are.** 

"Has  he  any  books?" 

"None;  they  are  strictly  prohibited,  and  under  Monsieui 
de  Mazarin's  own  hand." 

"Have  you  the  writing  still?" 

"Yes,  my  lord;  would  you  like  to  look  at  it  as  you  return 
to  take  your  cloak?" 

"I  should,  for  I  like  to  look  at  autographs." 

"Well,  then,  this  one  is  of  the  most  unquestionable  authen- 
ticity; there  is  only  one  erasure." 

"Ah!  ah!  an  erasure;  and  in  what  respect?" 

"With  respect  to  a  figure.  At  first  there  was  written: 
*To  be  boarded  at  fifty  francs.'  " 

"As  princes  of  the  blood,  in  fact?" 

"But  the  cardinal  must  have  seen  his  mistake,  you  under- 
stand; for  he  canceled  the  zero,  and  has  added  a  one  before 
the  five.     But,  by  the  bye " 


"You  do  not  speak  of  the  resemblance." 

"I  do  not  speak  of  it,  dear  Monsieur  de  Baisemeaux,  for 
a  very  simple  reason — because  it  does  not  exist." 

"The  deuce  it  doesn't." 

"Or,  if  it  does  exist,  it  is  only  in  your  own  imagination; 
but,  supposing  it  were  to  exist  elsewhere,  I  think  it  would 
be  better  for  you  not  to  speak  about  it." 


"The  king,  Louis  XIV! — you  understand — would  be  ex- 
cessively angry  with  you  if  he  were  to  learn  that  you  con- 
tributed in  any  way  to  spread  the  report  that  one  of  his 
subjects  has  the  effrontery  to  resemble  him." 

"It  is  true,  quite  true,"  said  Baisemeaux,  thoroughly 
alarmed;  "but  I  have  not  spoken  of  the  circumstance  to 
any  one  but  yourself,  and  you  understand,  monseigneur, 
that  I  perfectly  rely  on  your  being  discreet." 

"Oh,  be  easy." 

"Do  you  still  wish  to  see  the  note?" 


While  engaged  in  this  manner  in  conversation  they  had 
returned  to  the  governor's  apartments.  Baisemeaux  took 
from  the  cupboard  a  private  register,  like  the  one  he  had 
already  shown  Aramis,  but  fastened  by  a  lock,  the  key 
which  opened  it  being  one  of  a  small  bunch  of  keys  which 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  183 

Baisemeaux  always  carried  with  him.  Then  placing  the 
book  upon  the  table,  he  opened  it  at  the  letter  M,  and 
showed  Aramis  the  following  note  in  the  column  of  obser- 

"No  books  at  any  time;  all  linen  and  clothes  of  the  finest 
and  best  quality  to  be  procured;  no  exercise;  always  the 
same  jailer;  no  communications  with  any  one.  Musical 
instruments;  every  liberty  and  every  indulgence  which  his 
welfare  may  require;  to  be  boarded  at  fifteen  francs.  Mon- 
sieur de  Baisemeaux  can  claim  more  if  the  fifteen  francs  be 
not  sufficient." 

"Ah,"  said  Baisemeaux,  "now  I  think  of  it,  I  shall  claim 

Aramis  shut  the  book.  "Yes,"  he  said,  "it  is  indeed 
Monsieur  de  Mazarin's  handwriting;  I  recognize  it  well. 
Now,  my  dear  governor,"  he  continued,  as  if  this  last  com- 
munication had  exhausted  his  interest,  "let  us  now  turn  to 
our  own  little  affairs." 

"Well,  what  time  for  payment  do  you  wish  me  to  take? 
Fix  it  yourself." 

"There  need  not  be  any  particular  period  fixed;  give  me  a 
simple  acknowledgment  for  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand 

"When  to  be  made  payable?" 

"When  I  require  it.  But  you  understand  I  shall  only 
wish  it  when  you  yourself  do  so." 

"Oh,  I  am  quite  easy  on  that  score,"  said  Baisemeaux, 
smiling;  "but  I  have  already  given  you  two  receipts." 

"Which  I  now  destroy,"  said  Aramis;  and,  after  having 
shown  the  two  receipts  to  Baisemeaux,  he  destroyed  them. 
Overcome  by  so  great  a  mark  of  confidence,  Baisemeaux 
unhesitatingly  wrote  out  an  acknowledgment  of  a  debt  of 
one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  francs,  payable  at  the 
.  pleasure  of  the  prelate.  Aramis,  who  had,  by  glancing  over 
the  governor's  shoulder,  followed  the  pen  as  he  wrote,  put 
the  acknowledgment  into  his  pocket  without  seeming  to 
have  read  it,  which  made  Baisemeaux  perfectly  easy. 
"Now,"  said  Aramis,  "you  would  not  be  angry  with  me  if 
I  were  to  carry  off  one  of  your  prisoners?" 

"What  do  you  mean?" 

"In  obtaining  his  pardon,  of  course.  Have  I  not  already 
told  you  that  I  took  a  great  interest  in  poor  Seldon?" 

"Yes,  quite  true,  you  did  so." 

184  TEN"   YEARS  LATER. 


"That  is  your  affair;  do  as  you  think  proper.  I  see  you 
have  au  oj)eii  hand,  and  an  arm  that  can  reach  a  great  way.'* 

"Adieu,  adieu."  And  Aramis  left,  carrying  with  him 
the  governor's  blessings. 



At  the  very  time  M.  de  Baisemeaux  was  showing  Aramis 
the  prisoners  in  the  Bastile,  a  carriage  drew  up  at  Mme.  de 
Belliere's  door,  and,  at  that  still  early  hour,  a  young  woman 
alighted,  her  head  muffled  in  a  silk  hood.  At  the  moment 
the  servants  announced  Mme.  Vanel  to  Mme.  de  Belliere, 
the  latter  was  engaged,  or  rather,  was  absorbed,  in  reading 
a  letter,  which  she  hurriedly  concealed.  She  had  hardly 
finished  her  morning  toilet,  her  woman  being  still  in  the 
next  room.  At  the  name — at  the  footsteps  of  Marguerite 
Vanel,  Mme.  de  Belliere  ran  to  meet  her.  She  fancied  she 
could  detect  in  her  friend's  eye  a  brightness  which  was 
neither  that  of  health  nor  of  pleasure.  Marguerite  em- 
braced her,  pressed  her  hands,  and  hardly  allowed  her  time 
to  speak.  "Dearest,"  she  said,  "are  you  forgetting  me? 
Have  you  quite  given  yourself  up  to  the  pleasures  of  the 

"I  have  not  even  seen  the  marriage /e^es." 

"What  are  you  doing  with  yourself,  then?" 

"I  am  getting  ready  to  leave  for  Belliere." 

"For  Belliere?" 


"You  are  becoming  rustic  in  your  tastes  then;  I  delight 
to  see  you  so  disposed.     But  you  are  pale." 

"No,  I  am  perfectly  well." 

"So  much  the  better;  I  was  becoming  uneasy  about  you.- 
You  do  not  know  what  I  have  been  told." 

"People  say  so  many  things." 

"Yes,  but  this  is  very  singular." 

"How  well  you  know  how  to  excite  curiosity.  Marguerite." 

"Well,  I  was  afraid  of  vexing  you." 

"Never;  you  have  yourself  always  admired  me  for  my 
evenness  of  temper." 

"Well,  then,  it  is  said,  that — no,  I  shall  never  be  able  to 
tell  you." 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  185 

"Do  not  let  us  talk  about  it,  then,"  said  Mme.  de  Bel- 
liere,  who  detected  the  ill-nature  which  was  concealed  by 
all  these  prefaces,  yet  felt  the  most  anxious  curiosity  on  the 

''Well,  then,  my  dear  marquise,  it  is  said  that  for  some 
time  past  you  no  longer  continue  to  regret  Monsieur  de 
Belliere  as  you  used  to  do." 

"It  is  an  ill-natured  report.  Marguerite.  I  do  regret, 
and  shall  always  regret  my  husband;  but  it  is  now  two  years 
since  he  died.  I  am  only  twenty-eight  years  old,  and  my 
grief  at  his  loss  ought  not  always  to  control  every  action 
and  thought  of  my  life.  You,  Marguerite,  who  are  the 
model  of  a  wife,  would  not  believe  me  if  I  were  to  say  so." 

"Why  not?  Your  heart  is  so  soft  and  yielding,"  she 
said  spitefully. 

"Yours  is  so,  too.  Marguerite,  and  yet  I  did  not  perceive 
that  you  allowed  yourself  to  be  overcome  by  grief  when  your 
heart  was  wounded."  These  words  were  in  direct  allusion 
to  Marguerite's  rupture  with  the  surintendant,  and  were 
also  a  veiled  but  direct  reproach  made  against  her  friend's 

As  if  she  only  awaited  this  signal  to  discharge  her  shaft, 
Marguerite  exclaimed,  "Well,  Eliza,  it  is  said  you  are  in 
love."  And  she  looked  fixedly  at  Mme.  de  Belliere,  who 
blushed  without  being  able  to  prevent  it. 

"Women  never  escape  slander,"  replied  the  marquise, 
after  a  moment's  pause.  # 

"No  one  slanders  you,  Eliza." 

"What!  people  say  that  I  am  in  love,  and  yet  they  do  not 
slander  me!" 

"In  the  first  place,  if  it  be  true,  there  is  no  slander,  but 
simply  a  scandal-loving  report.  In  the  next  place — for  you 
did  not  allow  me  to  finish  what  I  was  saying — the  public 
does  not  assert  that  you  have  abandoned  yourself  to  this 
passion.  It  represents  you,  on  the  contrary,  as  a  virtuous 
but  loving  woman,  defending  herself  with  claws  and  teeth, 
shutting  yourself  up  in  your  own  house  as  in  a  fortress, 
and  in  other  respects  as  impenetrable  as  that  of  Danae,  not- 
withstanding Danae's  tower  was  made  of  brass." 

"You  are  witty.  Marguerite,"  said  Mme.  de  Belliere 

"You  always  flatter  me,  Eliza.  To  be  brief,  however, 
you  are  reported  to  be  incorruptible  and  unapproachable. 
You  can  decide  whether  people  calumniate  you  or  not;  but 
what  is  it  you  are  musing  about  while  I  am  speaking  to 

186  '  TEN  TEARS   LATER. 


"Yes;  you  are  blushing  and  are  quite  silent." 

"I  was  trying,"  said  the  marquise,  raising  her  beautiful 
eyes  brightened  with  an  indication  of  approaching  anger, 
"I  was  trying  to  discover  to  what  you  could  possibly  have 
alluded,  you  who  are  so  learned  in  mythological  subjects, 
in  comparing  me  to  Danae." 

"You  were  trying  to  guess  that,"  said  Marguerite, 

"Yes;  do  you  not  remember  that  at  the  convent,  when 
we  were  solving  our  problems  in  arithmetic — ah!  what  I 
have  to  tell  you  is  learned  also,  but  it  is  my  turn — do  you 
not  remember  that  if  one  of  the  terms  were  given  we  were 
to  find  out  the  other?     Therefore,  do  you  guess  now?" 

"I  cannot  conjecture  what  you  mean." 

"And  yet  nothing  is  more  simple." 

"You  pretend  that  I  am  in  love,  do  you  not?" 

"So  it  is  said." 

"Very  well;  it  is  not  said,  I  suppose,  that  I  am  in  love 
with  an  abstraction.  There  must  surely  be  a  name  men- 
tioned in  this  report." 

"Certainly,  a  name  is  mentioned." 

"Very  well;  it  is  not  surprising,  then,  that  I  should  try 
to  guess  this  name,  since  you  do  not  tell  it  me." 

"My  dear  marquise,  when  I  saw  you  blush  I  did  not 
think  you  would  have  to  spend  much  time  in  conjectures." 

"It  was  the  word  Danae  which  you  used  that  surprised 
me.     Danae  means  a  shower  of  gold,  does  it  not?" 

"That  is  to  say  that  the  Jupiter  of  Danae  changed  him- 
self into  a  shower  of  gold  for  her." 

"My  lover,  then,  he  whom  you  assign  me " 

"I  beg  your  pardon;  I  am  your  friend,  and  assign  you  no 

"That  may  be;  but  those  who  are  evilly  disposed  toward 

"Do  you  wish  to  hear  the  name?" 

"I  have  been  waiting  this  half-hour  for  it." 

"Well,  then,  you  shall  hear  it.  Do  not  be  shocked;  he 
is  a  man  high  in  power." 

"Good,"  said  the  marquise,  as  she  clinched  her  hands 
like  a  patient  at  the  approach  of  the  knife. 

"He  is  a  very  wealthy  man,"  continued  Marguerite;  "the 
wealthiest,  it  may  be.     In  a  word,  it  is " 

The  marquise  closed  her  eyes  for  a  moment. 

"It  is  the  Duke  of  Buckingham,"  said  Marguerite,  burst 

TEN   YEAKS    LATER.  187 

ing  into  laughter.  The  perfidiousness  had  been  calculated 
with  extreme  ability;  the  name  that  was  prouounced,  in- 
stead of  the  name  which  the  marquise  awaited,  had  pre- 
cisely the  same  eli'ect  upon  her  as  the  badly  sharpened  axes, 
which  had  hacked,  without  destroying,  Messieurs  de  Chalais 
and  De  Thou  upon  their  scaffolds,  had  upon  them.  She 
recovered  herself,  however,  and  said: 

''I  was  perfectly  right  in  saying  you  were  a  witty  woman, 
for  you  are  making  the  time  pass  away  most  agreeably. 
The  joke  is  a  most  amusing  one,  for  I  have  never  seen  the 
Duke  of  Buckingham." 

"Never!"  said  Marguerite,  restraining  her  laiighter. 

"I  have  never  even  left  my  own  house  since  the  duke  has 
been  at  Paris." 

"Oh!"  resumed  Mme.  Vanel,  stretching  out  her  foot 
toward  a  paper  which  was  lying  on  the  carpet  near  the  win- 
dow, "it  is  not  necessary  for  people  to  see  one  another, 
since  they  can  write." 

The  marquise  trembled,  for  this  paper  was  the  envelope 
of  the  letter  she  was  reading  as  her  friend  had  entered,  and 
was  sealed  with  the  surintendant's  arms.  As  she  leaned 
back  on  the  sofa  on  which  she  was  sitting  Mme.  Belliere 
covered  the  paper  with  the  thick  folds  of  her  large  silk 
dress,  and  so  concealed  it. 

"Come,  Marguerite,  tell  me,  is  it  to  tell  me  all  these 
foolish  reports  that  you  have  come  to  see  me  so  early  in  the 

"No;  1  came  to  see  you  in  the  first  place,  and  to  remind 
you  of  those  habits  of  our  earlier  days,  so  delightful  to  re- 
member, when  we  used  to  wander  about  together  at  Vin- 
cennes,  and,  sitting  beneath  an  oak,  or  in  some  sylvan 
shade,  used  to  talk  of  those  we  loved,  and  who  loved  us." 

"Do  you  propose  that  we  should  go  out  together  now?" 

"My  carriage  is  here,  and  I  have  three  hours  at  my 

"I  am  not  dressed  yet.  Marguerite;  but  if  you  wish  that 
we  should  talk  together,  we  can,  without  going  to  the 
woods  of  Vincennes,  find  in  my  own  garden  here  beautiful 
trees,  shady  groves,  a  greensward  covered  with  daisies  and 
violets,  the  perfume  of  which  can  be  perceived  from  where 
we  are  sitting." 

"I  regret  your  refusal,  my  dear  marquise,  for  I  wanted 
to  pour  out  my  whole  heart  into  yours." 

"I  repeat  it  again.  Marguerite,  my  heart  is  yours  just  as 
much  in  this  room,  or  beneath  the  lime-trees  in  the  garden 
here,  as  it  is  under  the  oaks  in  the  wood  yondero" 

188  TEN    TEAES   LATER. 

"It  is  not  the  same  thing  for  me.  In  approaching  tiearer 
to  Vincennes,  marquise,  my  ardent  aspirations  approach 
nearer  to  that  object  toward  which  they  have  for  some  days 
past  been  directed."  Tlie  marquise  suddenly  raised  her 
head.  "Are  you  surprised,  then,  that  I  am  still  thinking 
of  St.  Mande?" 

"Of  St.  Mande!"  exclaimed  Mme.  de  Belliere;  and  the 
looks  of  both  women  met  each  other  like  two  swords  rest- 
less at  the  first  time  their  blades  were  crossed. 

"You,  so  proud,  too!"  said  the  marquise  disdainfully. 

"I,  so  proud!"  replied  Mme.  Vanel.  "Such  is  my 
nature.  I  do  not  forgive  neglect — I  cannot  endure  infidel- 
ity. When  I  leave  any  one  who  weeps  at  my  abandonment 
I  feel  induced  still  to  love  him;  but  W'hen  others  forsake  me 
and  laugh  at  their  infidelity  I  love  distractedly." 

Mme.  de  Belliere  could  not  restrain  an  involuntary 

"She  is  jealous,"  said  Marguerite  to  herself. 

"Then,"  continued  the  marquise,  "you  are  quite  enam- 
ored of  the  Duke  of  Buckingham — I  mean,  of  Monsieur 
Fouquet?"  Eliza  felt  the  allusion,  and  all  her  blood  seemed 
to  have  flowed  toward  her  heart.  "And  you  wished  to  go 
to  Vincennes — to  St.  Mande  even?" 

"I  hardly  know  what  I  wished;  you  would  have  advised 
me,  perhaps." 

"In  what  respect?" 

"You  have  often  done  so." 

"Most  certainly  I  should  not  have  done  so  in  the  present 
instance,  for  I  do  not  forgive  as  you  do.  I  am  less  loving, 
perhaps;  but  when  my  heart  has  been  once  wounded,  it 
remains  so  always." 

"But  Monsieur  Fouquet  has  not  wounded  you,"  said 
Marquise  Vanel,  with  the  most  perfect  simplicity. 

"You  perfectly  understand  what  I  mean.  Monsieur 
Fouquet  has  not  wounded  me;  I  do  not  know  him  either 
from  any  obligation  or  any  injury  received  at  his  hands, 
but  you  have  reason  to  complain  of  him.  You  are  my 
friend,  and  I  am  afraid  I  should  not  advise  you  as  you 
would  like." 

"Ah!  you  are  prejudging  the  case." 

"The  sighs  you  spoke  of  just  now  are  more  than 

"You  overwhelm  me,"  said  the  young  woman  suddenly, 
as  if  collecting  her  whole  strength,  like  a  wrestler  prepar- 
ing for  a  last  struggle;  "you  take  only  my  evil  dispositions 

TEN   YEAKS   LATER.  189 

and  my  weaknesses  into  calculation,  and  do  not  speak  of 
the  pure  and  generous  feelings  which  I  have.  If,  at  this 
moment,  I  feel  instinctively  attracted  towara  the  surin- 
tendant,  if  I  even  make  an  advance  to  him,  and  which,  I 
confess,  is  very  probable,  my  motive  for  it  is,  that  Monsieur 
Fouquet's  fate  deeply  affects  me,  and  because  he  is,  in  my 
opinion,  one  of  the  most  unfortunate  men  living." 

"Ah!"  said  the  marquise,  placing  her  hand  upon  her 
heart,  "something  new,  then,  has  occurred." 

"Do  you  not  know  it?" 

"I  am  utterly  ignorant  of  everything  about  him,"  said 
Mme.  de  Belliere,  with  that  palpitation  of  anguish  which 
suspends  thought  and  speech,  and  even  life  itself. 

"In  the  first  place,  then,  the  king's  favor  is  entirely 
withdrawn  from  Monsieur  Fouquet,  and  conferred  on  Mon- 
sieur Colbert." 

"So  it  is  stated." 

"It  is  very  clear,  since  the  discovery  of  the  plot  of  Belle- 

"I  was  told  that  the  discovery  of  the  fortifications  there 
had  turned  out  to  Monsieur  Fouquet's  honor." 

Marguerite  began  to  laugh  in  so  cruel  a  manner  that 
Mme.  de  Belliere  could  at  that  moment  have  delightedly 
plunged  a  dagger  in  her  bosom. 

"Dearest,"  continued  Marguerite,  "there  is  no  longer 
any  question  of  Monsieur  Fouquet's  honor;  his  safety  is 
concerned.  Before  three  days  are  past  the  ruin  of  the 
surintendant  will  be  complete." 

"Stay,"  said  the  marquise,  in  her  turn  smiling;  "that  is 
going  a  little  too  fast." 

"I  said  three  days,  because  I  wish  to  deceive  myself  with 
a  hope;  but  most  certainly  the  catastrophe  will  not  extend 
beyond  twenty-four  hours." 

"Why  so?" 

"For  the  simplest  of  all  reasons — that  Monsieur  Fouquet 
has  no  more  money." 

"In  matters  of  finance,  my  dear  Marguerite,  some  are 
without  money  to  day  who  to-morrow  can  procure  millions." 

"That  might  be  Monsieur  Fouquet's  case  when  he  had 
two  wealthy  and  clever  friends  who  amassed  money  for  him, 
and  wrung  it  from  every  source;  but  these  friends  are 

"Money  does  not  die,  Marguerite;  it  may  be  concealed; 
but  it  can  be  looked  for,  bought,  and  found." 

"You  see  things  on  the  bright  side,  and  so  much  the 

190  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

better  for  you.  It  is  really  very  unfortunate  that  you  are 
not  the  Egeria  of  Monsieur  Fouquet;  you  might  show  him 
the  source  whence  he  could  obtain  the  millions  which  the 
king  asked  him  for  yesterday." 

"Millions!"  said  the  marquise,  in  terror. 

"Four — an  even  number." 

"Infamous!"  murmured  Mme.  de  Belliere,  tortured  by 
her  friend's  merciless  delight. 

"Monsieur  Fouquet,  I  should  think,  must  certainly  have 
four  millions,"  she  replied  courageously. 

"If  he  has  those  which  the  king  requires  to-day,"  said 
Marguerite,  "he  will  not  perhaps  possess  those  which  the 
king  will  require  in  a  month." 

"The  king  will  require  money  from  him  again,  then?" 

"No  doubt;  and  that  is  my  reason  for  saying  that  the 
ruin  of  this  poor  Monsieur  Fouquet  is  inevitable.  Pride 
will  induce  him  to. furnish  the  money,  and  when  he  has  no 
more  he  will  fail," 

"It  is  true,"  said  the  marquise  tremblingly;  "the  plan 
is  a  bold  one;  but  tell  me,  does  Monsieur  Colbert  hate 
Monsieur  Fouquet  so  very  much?" 

"I  think  he  does  not  like  him.  Monsieur  Colbert  is 
powerful;  he  improves  on  close  acquaintance;  he  has  gigan- 
tic ideas,  a  strong  will,  and  discretion;  he  will  make  great 

"He  will  be  surintendant?" 

"It  is  probable.  Such  is  the  reason,  my  dear  marquise, 
why  I  felt  myself  impressed  in  favor  of  that  poor  man,  who 
once  loved,  nay,  even  adored  me;  and  why,  when  I  see  him 
so  unfortunate,  I  forgive  his  infidelity,  which  I  have  reason 
to  believe  he  also  regrets;  and  why,  moreover,  I  should  not 
have  been  disinclined  to  afford  him  some  consolation,  or 
some  good  advice;  he  would  have  understood  the  step  I  had 
taken,  and  would  have  thought  kindly  of  me  for  it.  It  is 
gratifying  to  be  loved,  you  know.  Men  value  love  highly 
when  they  are  no  longer  blinded  by  its  influence." 

The  marquise,  bewildered,  and  overcome  by  these  cruel 
attacks,  which  had  been  calculated  with  the  greatest  cor- 
rectness and  precision  of  aim,  hardly  knew  what  answer  to 
return;  she  even  seemed  to  have  lost  all  power  of  thought. 
Her  perfidious  friend's  voice  had  assumed  the  most  affec- 
tionate tone;  she  spoke  as  a  woman,  but  concealed  the 
instincts  of  a  panther. 

""V^ell,"  said  Mme.  de  Belliere,  who  had  a  vague  hope 
that  Marguerite  would  cease  to  overwhelm  a  vanquished 
enemy,  "why  do  you  not  go  and  see  Monsieur  Fouquet?" 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  191 

''Decidedly,  marquise,  you  have  made  me  reflect.  No,  it 
would  be  unbecoming  for  me  to  make  the  first  advance. 
Monsieur  Fouquet  no  doubt  loves  me,  but  he  is  too  proud. 
I  cannot  ex^jose  myself  to  an  affront — besides,  I  have 
my  husband  to  consider.  You  say  nothing  to  me.  Very 
well,  I  shall  consult  Monsieur  Colbert  on  the  subject." 

Marguerite  rose  smilingly,  as  though  to  take  leave,  but 
the  marquise  had  not  the  strength  to  imitate  her.  Mar- 
guerite advanced  a  few  paces,  in  order  that  she  might  con- 
tinue to  enjoy  the  humiliating  grief  in  which  her  rival  was 
plunged,  and  then  said  suddenly: 

"You  do  not  accompany  me  to  the  door,  then?" 

The  marquise  rose,  pale  and  almost  lifeless,  without 
thinking  of  the  envelope,  which  had  occupied  her  attention 
so  greatly  at  the  commencement  of  the  conversation,  and 
which  was  revealed  at  the  first  step  she  took.  She  then 
opened  the  door  of  her  oratory,  and  without  even  turning 
her  head  toward  Marguerite  Vanel,  entered  it,  closing  the 
door  after  her.  Marguerite  said,  or,  rather  muttered,  a 
few  words,  which  Mme.  de  Belliere  did  not  even  hear.  As 
soon,  however,  as  the  marquise  had  disappeared,  ber  envious 
enemy,  not  being  able  to  resist  the  desire  to  satisfy  herself 
that  her  suspicions  were  really  founded,  advanced  stealthily 
toward  it  like  a  panther,  and  seized  the  envelope. 

"Ah!"  she  said,  gnashing  her  teeth,  "it  was  indeed  a 
letter  from  Monsieur  Fouquet  she  was  reading  when  I 
arrived,^'  and  then  darted  out  of  the  room.  During  this 
interval,  the  marquise,  having  arrived  behind  the  rampart, 
as  it  were,  of  her  door,  felt  that  her  strength  was  failing 
her;  for  a  moment  she  remained  rigid,  pale,  and  motionless 
as  a  statue;  and  then,  like  a  statue  shaken  on  its  base  by  a 
storm  of  wind,  she  tottered  and  fell  inanimate  on  the  carpet. 
The  noise  of  the  fall  resounded  at  the  same  moment  as  the 
rolling  of  Marguerite's  carriage  leaving  the  hotel  was  heard. 



The  blow  had  been  the  more  painful  on  account  of  its 
being  unexpected.  It  was  some  time  before  the  marquise 
recovered  herself;  but,  once  recovered,  she  began  to'  reflect 
upon  the  events  which  had  been  announced  to  her.  She, 
therefore,  returned,  at  the  risk  even  of  losing  her  life  in 

192  TEN    YEARS   LATER. 

the  way,  to  that  train  of  ideas  which  her  relentless  friend 
had  forced  her  to  pursue.  Treason,  then — dark  menaces 
concealed  under  the  semblance  of  public  interest — such 
were  Colbert's  maneuvers.  A  detestable  delight  at  .  an 
approaching  downfall,  untiring  efforts  to  attain  this  object, 
means  of  seduction  no  less  wicked  than  the  crime  itself — • 
such  were  the  means  which  Marguerite  employed.  The 
crooked  atoms  of  Descartes  triumphed;  to  the  man  without 
compassion  was  united  a  woman  without  a  heart.  The 
marquise  perceived,  with  sorrow  rather  than  with  indigna- 
tion, that  the  king  was  an  accomplice  in  the  plot  which 
betrayed  the  duplicity  of  Louis  XIII.,  in  his  advanced  age, 
and  the  avarice  of  Mazarin  at  a  period  of  life  when  he  had 
not  had  the  opportunity  of  gorging  himself  with  French 
gold.  The  spirit  of  this  courageous  woman  soon  resumed 
its  energy,  and  was  no  longer  interrupted  by  a  mere  indul- 
gence in  compassionate  lamentations.  The  marquise  was 
not  one  to  weep  when  action  was  necessary,  nor  to  waste 
time  in  bewailing  a  misfortune  when  means  still  existed  of 
relieving  it.  For  some  minutes  she  buried  her  face  in  her 
icy  hands,  and  then,  raising  her  head,  rang  for  her  attend- 
ants with  a  steady  hand,  and  with  a  gesture  betraying  a 
fixed  determination  of  purpose.     Her  resolution  was  taken. 

"Is  everything  prepared  for  my  departure?"  she  inquired 
of  one  of  her  female  attendants  who  entered. 

"Yes,  madame;  but  it  was  not  expected  that  your  lady- 
ship would  leave  for  Belliere  for  the  next  few  days." 

"All  my  jewels  and  articles  of  value,  then,  are  locked 

"Yes,  madame;  but  hitherto  we  have  been  in  the  habit  of 
leaving  them  in  Paris.  Your  ladyship  does  not  generally 
take  your  jewels  with  you  into  the  country." 

"But  they  are  all  in  order,  you  say?" 

"Yes,  in  your  ladvship's  own  room." 

"The  gold  plate?" 

"In  the  chest." 

"And  the  silver  plate?" 

"In  the  large  oaken  closet." 

The  marquise  remained  silent  for  a  few  moments,  and 
then  said  calmly,  "Let  my  goldsmith  be  sent  for." 

Her  attendants  quitted  the  room  to  execute  the  order. 
The  marquise,  however,  had  entered  her  own  room,  and 
inspected  her  casket  of  jewels  with  the  greatest  attention. 
Never,  untiLnow,  had  she  bestowed  so  much  attention  upon 
riches  in  which  women  take  so  much  pride;  never,   until 

TEN   TEARS   LATER.  193 

now,  had  she  looked  at  her  Jewels,  except  for  the  purpose 
of  making  a  selection  according  to  their  settings  or  their 
colors.  On  this  occasion,  however,  she  admired  the  size  of 
the  rubies  and  the  brilliancy  of  the  diamonds;  she  grieved 
over  every  blemish  and  every  defect;  she  thought  the  gold 
light,  and  the  stones  wretched.  The  goldsmith,  as  he 
entered,  found  her  thus  occupied.  "Monsieur  Faucheux," 
she  said,  "I  believe  you  supplied  me  with  my  gold  service?" 

"I  did,  your  ladyship." 

"I  do  not  remember  the  amount  of  the  account." 

"Of  the  new  service,  madame,  or  of  that  which  Monsieur 
de  Belliere  presented  to  you  on  your  marriage?  for  I 
furnished  both." 

"First  of  all,  the  new  one?" 

"The  covers,  the  goblets,  and  the  dishes,  with  their 
covers,  the  eeau-pergne,  the  ice-pails,  the  dishes  for  the 
preserves,  and  the  tea  and  coffee  urns,  cost  your  ladyship 
sixty  thousand  francs." 

"No  more?" 

"Your  ladyship  thought  the  account  very  high." 

"Yes,  yes;  I  remember,  in  fact,  that  it  was  dear;  but  it 
was  the  workmanship,  I  suppose?" 

"Yes,  madame;  the  designs,  the  chasings,  and  new 

"What  proportion  of  the  cost  does  the  workmanship 
form?     Do  not  hesitate  to  tell  me." 

"A  third  of  its  value,  madame." 

"There  is  the  other  service,  the  old  one,  that  which  be- 
longed to  my  husband?" 

"Yes,  madame;  there  is  less  workmanship  in  that  than  in 
the  other.  Its  intrinsic  value  does  not  exceed  thirty  thou- 
sand francs." 

"Thirty  thousand,"  murmured  the  marquise.  "But, 
Monsieur  Faucheux,  there  is  also  the  service  which  belonged 
to  my  mother;  all  that  massive  plate  which  I  did  not  wish 
to  part  with,  on  account  of  the  associations  connected  with 

"Ah!  madame,  that  would  indeed  be  an  excellent  re- 
source for  those  who,  unlike  your  ladyship,  might  not  be  in 
a  position  to  keep  their  plate.  In  working  that,  one  worked 
in  solid  metal.  But  that  service  is  no  longer  in  fashion. 
Its  weight  is  its  only  advantage." 

"That  is  all  I  care  about.     How  much  does  it  weigh?" 

"Fifty  thousand  livres  at  the  very  least.  I  do  not  allude 
to  the  enormous  vases  for  the  buffet,  which  alone  weigh  five 
thousand  livres,  or  ten  thousand  the  two."  j 

Dumas— Vol.  XV. 

194  TEN"   YEARS   LATER. 

"One  hundred  and  thirty,"  murmured  the  marquise, 
"You  are  quite  sure  of  your  figures,  Monsieur  Faucheux?" 

"Positive,  madame.  Besides,  there  is  no  difficulty  in 
weighing  them." 

"The  amount  is  entered  in  my  books." 

"Your  ladyship  is  extremely  methodical,  I  am  aware." 

"Let  us  now  turn  to  another  subject,"  said  Mme.  de  Bel- 
liere,  and  she  opened  one  of  her  jewel-boxes. 

"I  recognize  these  emeralds,"  said  M.  Faucheux;  "for  it 
was  I  who  had  the  setting  of  them.  They  are  the  most 
beautiful  in  the  whole  court.  No,  I  am  mistaken;  Madame 
de  Chatillon  has  the  most  beautiful  set;  she  had  them  from 
Messieurs  de  Guise;  but  your  set,  madame,  are  next." 

"What  are  they  worths" 


"No;  supposing  I  wished  to  sell  them." 

"I  know  very  well  who  would  buy  them,"  exclaimed  M. 

"That  is  the  very  thing  I  ask.  They  could  be  purchased, 

"All  your  jewels  could  be  bought.  It  is  well  known  that 
you  possess  the  most  beautiful  jewels  in  Paris.  You  aro 
not  changeable  in  your  tastes;  when  you  make  a  purchase 
it  is  of  the  very  best;  and  what  you  purchase  you  do  nob 
part  with." 

"What  could  these  emeralds  be  sold  for,  then?" 

"A  hundred  and  thirty  thousand  francs." 

The  marquise  wrote  down  upon  her  tablets  the  amount 
which  the  jeweler  mentioned.  "The  ruby  necklace?"  she 

"Are  they  Balass  rubies,  madame?" 

"Here  they  are." 

"They  are  beautiful — magnificent.  I  did  not  know  that 
your  ladyshijo  had  these  stones." 

"What  is  their  value?" 

"Two  hundred  thousand  francs.  The  center  one  is  alone 
worth  a  hundred." 

"I  thought  so,"  said  the  marquise.  "As  for  diamonds,  I 
have  them  in  numbers;  rings,  necklaces,  sprigs,  earrings, 
clasps.     Tell  me  their  value.  Monsieur  Faucheux." 

The  jeweler  took  his  magnifying-glass  and  scales,  weighed 
and  inspected  them,  and  then  silently  made  his  calculations. 
"These  stones,"  he  said,  "must  have  cost  your  ladyship  an 
income  of  forty  thousand  francs." 

"You  value  them  at  eight  hundred  thousand  francs." 

TEN-   YEARS   LATER.  195 

''Nearly  so." 

"It  is  about  what  I  imagined — but  the  settings  are  not 

"No,  madame;  but  if  I  were  called  upon  to  sell  or  to  buy, 
I  should  be  satisfied  with  the  gold  of  the  settings  alone  as 
my  profit  upon  the  transaction.  I  should  make  a  good 
twenty-five  thousand  francs." 

"An  agreeable  sum." 

"Very  so,  madame." 

"Will  you  accept  that  profit,  then,  on  condition  of  con- 
verting the  jewels  into  money?" 

"But  you  do  not  intend  to  sell  your  diamonds,  I  suppose, 
madame?"  exclaimed  the  bewildered  jeweler. 

"Silence,  Monsieur  Faucheux;  do  not  disturb  yourself 
about  that;  give  me  an  answer  simply.  You  are  an  honor- 
able man,  with  whom  my  family  has  dealt  for  thirty  years; 
you  have  known  my  father  and  mother,  whom  your  own 
father  and  mother  had  served.  I  address  you  as  a  friend; 
will  you  accept  the  gold  of  the  settings  in  return  for  a  sum 
of  ready  money  to  be  placed  in  my  hands?" 

"Eight  hundred  thousand  francs!  it  is  enormous." 

"I  know  it." 

"Impossible  to  find." 

"Not  so." 

"But  refiect,  madame,  upon  the  effect  which  will  be  pro- 
duced by  the  sale  of  your  jewels." 

"No  one  need  know  it.  You  can  get  sets  of  false  jewels 
made  for  me,  similar  to  the  real.  Do  not  answer  a  word;  I 
insist  upon  it.     Sell  them  separately,  sell  the  stones  only." 

"In  that  way  it  is  easy.  Monsieur  is  looking  out  for  some 
sets  of  jewels  as  well  as  single  stones  for  madame's  toilet. 
There  will  be  a  competition  for  them.  I  can  easily  dispose 
of  six  hundred  thousand  francs'  worth  to  Monsieur.  I  am 
certain  yours  are  the  most  beautiful." 

"When  can  you  do  so?" 

"In  less  than  three  days'  time." 

"Very  well;  the  remainder  you  will  dispose  of  among 
private  individuals.  For  the  present,  make  me  out  a  con- 
tract of  sale,  payment  to  be  made  in  four  days." 

"I  entreat  you  to  reflect,  madame;  for  if  you  force  the 
sale,  you  will  lose  a  hundred  thousand  francs." 

"If  necessary,  I  will  lose  two  hundred;  I  wish  everything 
to  be  settled  this  evening.     Do  you  accept?" 

"I  do,  your  ladyship.  I  will  not  conceal  from  you  that  I 
shall  make  fifty  thousand  francs  by  the  transaction." 

196  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

"So  mucli  the  better.  In  what  way  shall  I  have  the 

"Either  in  gold,  or  in  bills  of  the  bank  of  Lyons,  payable 
at  Monsieur  Colbert's." 

"I  agree,"  said  the  marquise  eagerly;  "return  home  and 
bring  the  sum  in  question  in  notes,  as  soon  as  possible." 

"Yes,  madame;  but  for  Heaven's  sake " 

"Not  a  word,  Monsieur  Faucheux.  By  the  bye,  I  was 
forgetting  the  silver  plate.  What  is  the  value  of  that  which 
I  have?" 

"Fifty  thousand  francs,  madame." 

"That  makes  a  million,"  said  the  marquise  to  herself. 
"Monsieur  Faucheux,  you  will  take  away  with  you  both 
the  gold  and  silver  plate.  I  can  assign,  as  a  pretext,  that  I 
wish  it  remodeled  for  patterns  more  in  accordance  with  my 
own  taste.  Melt  it  down,  and  return  me  its  value  in  money, 
at  once." 

"It  shall  be  done,  your  ladyship." 

"You  will  be  good  enough  to  place  the  money  in  a  chest, 
and  direct  one  of  your  clerks  to  accompany  the  chest,  and 
without  my  servants  seeing  him;  and  direct  him  also  to 
wait  for  me  in  a  carriage." 

"In  Madame  de  Faucheux's  carriage?"  said  the  jeweler. 

"If  you  will  allow  it,  and  I  will  call  for  it  at  your  house." 

"Certainly,  your  ladyship." 

"I  will  direct  some  of  my  servants  to  convey  the  plate  to 
your  house."  The  marquise  rang.  "Let  the  small  van  be 
placed  at  Monsieur  Faucheux's  disposal,"  she  said.  The 
jeweler  bowed  and  left  the  house,  directing  that  the  van 
should  follow  him  closely,  saying  aloud  that  the  marquise 
was  about  to  have  her  plate  melted  down  in  order  to  have 
other  plate  manufactured  of  a  more  modern  style.  Three 
hours  afterward  she  went  to  M.  Faucheux's  house  and  re- 
ceived from  him  eight  hundred  thousand  francs  in  gold 
inclosed  in  a  chest,  which  one  of  the  clerks  could  carry  to- 
ward Mme.  Faucheux's  carriage — for  Mme.  Faucheux  kept 
her  carriage.  As  the  daughter  of  a  president  of  accounts, 
she  had  brought  a  marriage  portion  of  thirty  thousand 
crowns  to  her  husband,  who  was  syndic  of  the  goldsmiths. 
These  thirty  thousand  crowns  had  become  very  fruitful 
during  twenty  years.  The  jeweler,  though  a  millionaire, 
was  a  mode«t  man.  He  had  purchased  a  venerable  carriage, 
built  in  I648,  ten  years  after  the  king's  birth.  This  car- 
riage, or  rather,  house  upon  wheels,  excited  the  admiration 
of  the  whole  quarter  in  which  he  resided;  it  was  covered 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  197 

with  allegorical  paintings  and  clouds  scattered  over  with 
stars.  The  marquise  entered  this  somewhat  extraordinary 
vehicle,  sitting  opposite  to  the  clerk,  who  endeavored  to 
put  his  knees  out  of  the  way,  afraid  even  of  touching  the 
marquise's  dress.  It  was  the  clerk,  too,  who  told  the 
coachman,  who  was  very  proud  of  having  a  marquise  to  drive, 
to  take  the  road  to  St.  Mande. 



Monsieur  Faucheux's  horses  were  serviceable  animals, 
with  thick  knees,  and  legs  which  they  had  some  difficulty 
in  moving.  Like  the  carriage,  they  belonged  to  the  earlier 
part  of  the  century.  They  were  not  as  fleet,  therefore,  as 
the  English  horses  of  M.  Fouquet,  and  consequently  took 
two  hours  to  get  to  St.  Mande.  Their  progress,  it  might 
be  said,  was  majestic.  Majesty,  however,  precludes  hurry. 
The  marquise  stopped  the  carriage  at  a  door  well  known  to 
her,  although  she  had  only  seen  it  once,  in  a  circumstance, 
it  will  be  remembered,  no  less  painful  than  that  which 
brought  her  to  it  again  on  the  present  occasion.  She  drew 
a  key  from  her  pocket,  and  inserted  it  in  the  lock,  pushed 
open  the  door,  which  noiselessly  yielded  to  her  touch,  and 
directed  the  clerk  to  carry  the  chest  ujastairs  to  the  first 
floor.  The  weight  of  the  chest  was  so  great  that  the  clerk 
was  obliged  to  get  the  coachman  to  assist  him  with  it. 
They  placed  it  in  a  small  cabinet,  anteroom,  or  boudoir 
rather,  adjoining  the  saloon  where  he  once  saw  M,  Fouquet 
at  the  marquise's  feet.  Mme.  de  Belliere  gave  the  coach- 
man a  louis,  smiled  gracefully  at  the  clerk,  and  dismissed 
them  both.  She  closed  the  door  after  them  and  waited  in 
the  room,  alone  and  barricaded.  There  was  no  servant  to 
be  seen  about  the  rooms,  but  everything  was  prepared  as 
though  some  invisible  genius  had  divined  the  wishes  and 
desires  of  the  guest  who  was  expected.  The  fire  was  laid, 
the  candles  in  the  candelabra,  refreshments  upon  the  table, 
books  scattered  about,  fresh-cut  flowers  in  the  vases.  One 
might  almost  have  declared  it  to  be  an  enchanted  house. 
The  marquise  lighted  the  candles,  inhaled  the  perfume  of 
the  flowers,  sat  down,  and  was  soon  plunged  in  profound 
thought.  Her  deep  musings,  melancholy  though  they 
were,  were  not  untinged  with  a  certain  sweetness.     Spread 

198  TEN"   TEARS    LATER. 

out  before  her  was  a  treasure,  a  million  wrung  from  her 
fortune  as  a  gleaner  plucks  the  blue  corn-flower  from  her 
crown  of  flowers.  She  conjured  up  the  sweetest  dreams. 
Her  principal  thought^  and  one  that  took  precedence  of  all 
others,  was  to  devise  means  of  leaving  this  money  for  M. 
Fouquet  without  his  possibly  learning  from  whom  the  gift 
had  come.  This  idea,  naturally  enough,  was  the  first  to 
present  itself  to  her  mind.  But  although,  on  reflection,  it 
appeared  difficult  to  carry  out,  she  did  not  despair  of  suc- 
cess. She  would  then  ring  to  summon  M.  Fouquet  and 
make  her  escape,  happier  if,  instead  of  having  given  a  mil- 
lion, she  had  herself  found  one.  But,  being  there,  and 
having  seen  the  boudoir  so  coquettishly  decorated  that  it 
might  almost  be  said  the  least  particle  of  dust  had  but  the 
moment  before  been  removed  by  the  servants;  having 
observed  the  drawing-room  so  perfectly  arranged  that  it 
might  almost  be  said  her  presence  there  had  driven  away 
the  fairies  who  were  its  occupants,  she  asked  herself  if  the 
glance  or  gaze  of  those  whom  she  had  driven  away — whether 
spirits,  fairies,  elves,  or  human  creatures — had  not  already 
recognized  her.  To  secure  success,  it  was  necessary  that 
some  steps  should  be  seriously  taken,  and  it  was  necessary 
also  that  the  surintendant  should  comprehend  the  serious 
position  in  which  he  was  placed,  in  order  to  yield  com- 
pliance with  the  generous  fancies  of  a  woman;  all  the  fasci- 
nation of  an  eloquent  friendship  would  be  required  to  per- 
suade him,  and,  should  this  be  insufficient,  the  maddening 
influence  of  a  devoted  passion,  which,  in  its  resolute  deter- 
mination to  carry  conviction,  would  not  be  turned  aside. 
Was  not  the  surintendant,  indeed,  known  for  his  delicacy 
and  dignity  of  feeling?  Would  he  allow  himself  to  accept 
from  any  woman  that  of  which  she  had  stripped  herself? 
No!  He  would  resist,  and  if  any  voice  in  the  world  could 
overcome  his  resistance,  it  would  be  the  voice  of  the  woman 
he  loved.  Another  doubt,  and  that  a  cruel  one,  suggested 
itself  to  Mme.  de  Belliere  with  a  sharp,  acute  pain,  like  a 
dagger-thrust.  "Did  he  really  love  her?  Would  that 
volatile  mind,  that  inconstant  heart,  be  likely  to  be  fixed 
for  a  moment,  even  were  it  to  gaze  upon  an  angel?  Was  it 
not  the  same  with  Fouquet,  notwithstanding  his  genius  and 
his  uprightness  of  conduct,  as  with  those  conquerors  on  the 
field  of  battle  who  shed  tears  when  they  have  gained  a  vic- 
tory? I  must  learn  if  it  be  so,  and  must  Judge  that  for 
myself,"  said  the  marquise.  "Who  can  tell  whether  that 
heart,  so  coveted,  is  not  common  in  its  impulses,  and  full 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  199 

of  alloy?  Who  can  tell  if  that  mind,  when  the  touclistone 
is  api^lied  to  it,  will  not  be  found  of  a  mean  and  vulgar 
character?  Come,  come,"  she  said,  "this  is  doubting  and 
hesitating  too  much — to  the  proof."  She  looked  at  the 
timepiece.  "It  is  now  seven  o'clock,"  she  said;  "he  must 
have  arrived;  it  is  the  hour  for  signing  his  papers."  With 
a  feverish  impatience  she  rose  and  walked  toward  the  mir- 
ror, in  which  she  smiled  with  a  resolute  smile  of  devoted- 
ness;  she  touched  the  spring  and  drew  out  the  handle  of 
the  bell.  Then,  as  if  exhausted  beforehand  by  the  struggle 
she  had  just  undergone,  she  threw  herself  on  her  knees,  in 
utter  abandonment,  before  a  large  couch,  in  which  she 
buried  her  face  in  her  trembling  hands.  Ten  minutes 
afterward  she  heard  the  spring  of  the  door  sound.  The 
door  moved  upon  invisible  hinges,  and  Fouquet  appeared. 
He  looked  pale,  and  seemed  bowed  down  by  the  weight  of 
some  bitter  reflection.  He  did  not  hurry,  but  simply  came 
at  the  summons.  The  preoccupation  of  his  mind  must 
indeed  have  been  very  great,  that  a  man,  so  devoted  to 
pleasure,  from  whom  indeed  pleasure  was  everything,  should 
obey  such  a  summons  so  listlessly.  The  previous  night,  in 
fact,  fertile  in  melancholy  ideas,  had  sharpened  his  features, 
generally  so  noble  in  their  indifference  of  expression,  and 
had  traced  dark  lines  of  anxiety  around  his  eyes.  Hand- 
some and  noble  he  still  was,  and  the  melancholy  expression 
of  his  mouth,  a  rare  expression  with  men,  gave  a  new  char- 
acter to  his  features,  by  which  his  youth  seemed  to  be  re- 
newed. Dressed  in  black,  the  lace  in  front  of  his  chest 
much  disarranged  by  his  feverishly  restless  hand,  the  looks 
of  the  surintendant,  full  of  dreamy  reflection,  were  fixed 
upon  the  threshold  of  the  room  which  he  had  so  frequently 
approached  in  search  of  expected  happiness.  This  gloomy 
gentleness  of  manner,  this  smiling  sadness  of  expression, 
which  had  replaced  his  former  excessive  joy,  produced  an 
indescribable  effect  upon  Mme.  de  Belliere,  who  was  regard- 
ing him  at  a  distance.  A  woman's  eye  can  read  the  face  of 
the  man  she  loves,  its  every  feeling  of  pride,  its  every  ex- 
pression of  suffering;  it  might  almost  be  said  that  Heaven 
has  graciously  granted  to  women,  on  account  of  their  very 
weakness,  more  than  it  has  accorded  to  other  creatures. 
They  can  conceal  their  own  feelings  from  a  man,  but  from 
them  no  man  can  conceal  his.  The  marquise  divined  in  a 
single  glance  the  whole  weight  of  the  unhappiness  of  the 
surintendant.  She  divined  a  night  passed  without  sleep,  a 
day  passed  in  deceptions.     From  that  moment  she  was  firm 

200  TEN"   TEAES    LATEK. 

in  her  own  strength,  and  she  felt  that  she  loved  Fouquet 
beyond  everything  else.  She  rose  and  approached  him, 
saying,  "You  wrote  to  me  this  morning  to  say  you  were  be- 
ginning to  forget  me,  and  that  I,  whom  you  had  not  seen 
lately,  had  no  doubt  ceased  to  think  of  you.  I  have  come 
to  undeceive  you,  monsieur,  and  the  more  completely  so, 
because  there  is  one  thing  I  can  read  iu  your  eyes." 

''What  is  that,  madame?"  said  Fouquet,  astonished. 

"That  you  have  never  loved  me  so  much  as  at  this 
moment;  in  the  same  manner  you  can  read,  in  my  present 
steps  toward  you,  that  I  have  not  forgotten  you." 

"Oh,  madame!"  said  Fouquet,  whose  face  was  for  a 
moment  lighted  up  by  a  sudden  gleam  of  joy,  "you  are 
indeed  an  angel,  and  no  man  can  suspect  you.  All  he  can 
do  is  to  humble  himself  before  you,  and  entreat  forgiveness." 

"Your  forgiveness  is  granted,  then,"  said  the  marquise. 
Fouquet  was  about  to  throw  himself  upon  his  knees.  "No, 
no,"  she  said,  "sit  here  by  my  side.  Ah!  that  is  an  evil 
thought  which  has  just  crossed  your  mind." 

"How  do  you  detect  it,  madame?" 

"By  a  smile  which  has  just  injured  the  expression  of  your 
countenance.  Be  candid,  and  tell  me  what  your  thought 
was — no  secrets  between  friends." 

"Tell  me,  then,  madame,  why  have  you  been  so  harsh 
these  three  or  four  months  past?" 


"Yes;  did  you  not  forbid  me  to  visit  you?" 

"Alas!"  said  Mme.  de  Belliere,  sighing,  "because  your 
visit  to  me  was  the  cause  of  your  being  visited  with  a  great 
misfortune;  because  my  house  is  watched;  because  the  same 
eyes  which  have  already  seen  you  might  see  you  again; 
because  I  think  it  less  dangerous  for  you  that  I  should  come 
here  than  that  you  should  come  to  my  house;  and,  lastly, 
because  I  know  you  to  be  already  unhappy  enough  not  to 
wish  to  increase  your  unhappiness  further." 

Fouquet  started,  for  these  words  recalled  all  the  anxieties 
connected  with  his  office  of  surintendant — he  who,  for  the 
last  few  minutes,  had  indulged  in  all  the  wild  aspirations  of 
the  lover.  "I  unhappy?"  he  said,  endeavoring  to  smile; 
"indeed,  marquise,  you  will  almost  make  me  believe  that  I 
am  so,  judging  from  your  own  sadness.  Are  your  beautiful 
eyes  raised  upon  me  merely  in  pity? — I  look  for  another  ex- 
pression from  them," 

"It  is  not  I  who  am  sad,  monsieur;  look  in  the  mirror 
there — it  is  you  who  are  so." 

TEN"   YEARS   LATER.  201 

"It  is  true  I  am  somewhat  pale,  marquise;  but  it  is  from 
overwork;  the  king  yesterday  required  a  supply  of  money 
from  me." 

"Yes,  four  millions;  I  am  aware  of  it." 

"You  know  it?"  exclaimed  Fouquet,  in  a  tone  of  sur- 
prise; "how  can  you  have  learned  it?  It  was  after  the  de- 
parture of  the  queen,  and  in  the  presence  of  one  person 
only,  that  the  king ■" 

"You  perceive  that  I  do  knOw  it;  is  not  that  sufficient? 
Well,  go  on,  monsieur;  the  money  the  king  has  required 
you  to  supply — • — •" 

"You  understand,  marquise,  that  I  have  been  obliged  to 
procure  it,  then  to  get  it  counted,  afterward  registered — 
altogether  a  long  affair.  Since  Monsieur  de  Mazariu's 
death,  financial  affairs  occasion  some  little  fatigue  and  em- 
barrassment. My  administration  is  somewhat  overtaxed, 
and  this  is  the  reason  why  I  have  not  slept  during  the  past 

"So  that  you  have  the  amount?"  inquired  the  marquise, 
with  some  anxiety. 

"It  would  indeed  be  strange,  marquise,"  replied  Fouquet 
cheerfully,  "if  a  surintendant  of  finances  were  not  to  have 
a  paltry  four  millions  in  his  coffers." 

"Yes,  yes,  I  believe  you  either  have,  or  will  have,  them." 

"What  do  you  mean  by  saying  I  shall  have  them?" 

"It  is  not  very  long  since  you  were  required  to  furnish 
two  millions." 

"On  the  contrary,  to  me  it  seems  almost  an  age;  but  do 
not  let  us  talk  of  money  matters  any  longer." 

"On  the  contrary,  we  will  continue  to  speak  of  them,  for 
that  is  my  only  reason  for  coming  to  see  you." 

"I  am  at  a  loss  to  know  your  meaning,"  said  the  surin- 
tendant, whose  eyes  began  to  express  an  anxious  curiosity. 

"Tell  me,  monsieur,  is  the  office  of  surintendant  an  irre- 
movable one?" 

"You  surprise  me,  marchioness,  for  you  speak  as  if  you 
had  some  motive  or  interest  in  putting  the  question." 

"My  reason  is  simple  enough;  I  am  desirous  of  placing 
some  money  in  your  hands,  and  naturally  I  wish  to  know  if 
you  are  certain  of  your  post." 

"Keally,  marquise,  I  am  at  a  loss  what  to  reply,  and  I 
cannot  conceive  your  meaning." 

"Seriously  then,  dear  Monsieur  Fouquet,  I  have  certain 
funds  which  somewhat  embarrass  me.  I  am  tired  of  invest- 
ing my  money  in  land,  and  am  anxious  to  intrust  a  friend 
to  turn  it  to  account." 

202  TE2f   YEARS   LATER. 

"Surely  it  does  not  press/'  said  M.  Fouquet. 

"On  tlie  contrary,  it  is  very  pressing." 

"Very  well,  we  will  talk  of  that  by  and  by." 

"By  and  by  will  not  do,  for  my  money  is  there/'  returned 
the  marquise,  pointing  out  the  cofEer  to  the  surintendant, 
and  showing  him,  as  she  opened  it,  the  bundles  of  notes 
and  heaps  of  gold.  Fouquet,  who  had  risen  from  his  seat 
at  the  same  moment  as  Mme.  de  Belliere,  remained  for  a 
moment  plunged  in  thought;  theu,  suddenly  starting  back, 
he  turned  pale,  and  sank  down  in  his  chair,  concealing  his 
face  in  his  hands.  "Madame,  madame,"  he  murmured, 
"what  opinion  can  you  have  of  me  when  you  make  me  such 
an  offer?" 

"Of  you!"  returned  the  marquise.  "Tell  me,  rather, 
what  you  yourself  think  of  the  step  I  have  taken." 

"You  bring  me  this  money  for  myself,  and  you  bring  it 
because  you  know  me  to  be  embarrassed.  Nay,  do  not 
deny  it,  for  I  am  sure  of  it.     Do  I  not  know  your  heart?" 

"If  you  know  my  heart,  then,  can  you  not  see  that  it  is 
my  heart  which  I  offer  you." 

"I  have  guessed  rightly,  then?"  exclaimed  Fouquet. 
"In  truth,  madame,  I  have  never  yet  given  you  the  right  to 
insult  me  in  this  manner." 

"Insult  you,"  she  said,  turning  pale,  "what  singular  deli- 
cacy of  feeling!  You  tell  me  you  love  me;  in  the  name  of 
that  affection  you  wish  me  to  sacrifice  my  reputation  and 
my  honor,  yet,  when  I  offer  you  money,  which  is  my  own, 
you  refuse  me." 

"Madame,  you  are  at  liberty  to  preserve  what  you  term 
your  reputation  and  your  honor.  Permit  me  to  preserve 
mine.  Leave  me  to  my  ruin,  leave  me  to  sink  beneath  the 
weight  of  the  hatreds  which  surround  me,  beneath  the 
faults  I  have  committed,  beneath  the  load  even  of  my  re- 
morse; but,  for  Heaven'3  sake,  madame,  do  not  overwhelm 
me  under  this  last  infliction." 

"A  short  time  since.  Monsieur  Fouquet,  you  were  want- 
ing in  judgment,  now  you  are  wanting  in  feeling." 

Fouquet  pressed  his  clinched  hand  upon  his  breast,  heav- 
ing with  emotion,  saying:  "Overwhelm  me,  madame,  for  I 
have  nothing  to  reply." 

"I  offered  you  my  friendship,  Monsieur  Fouquet." 

"Yes,  madame,  and  you  limited  yourself  to  that." 

"And  what  I  am  now  doing  is  the  act  of  a  friend/* 

"No  doubt  it  is." 

*'And  you  reject  this  mark  of  my  friendship?" 

TEN"   TEARS   LATER.  203 

*'I  do  reject  it." 

"Monsieur  Fouquet,  look  at  me/'  said  the  marquise, 
with  glistening  eyes,  "I  now  offer  you  my  love." 

"Oh,  madame!"  exclaimed  Fouquet. 

"I  have  loved  you  for  a  long  while  past;  women,  like 
men,  have  a  false  delicacy  at  times.  For  a  long  time  past 
I  have  loved  you,  but  would  not  confess  it.  Well,  then, 
you  have  implored  this  love  on  your  knees,  and  I  have  re- 
fused you;  I  was  blind,  as  you  were  a  little  while  since;  but 
as  it  was  my  love  that  you  sought,  it  is  my  love  that  I  now 
offer  you." 

"Oh,  madame!  you  overwhelm  me  beneath  the  weight  of 
my  happiness." 

"Will  you  be  happy,  then,  if  I  am  yours — yours  entirely?" 

"It  will  be  the  supremest  happiness  for  me," 

"Take  me,  then.  If,  however,  for  your  sake  I  sacrifice  a 
prejudice,  do  you,  for  mine,  sacrifice  a  scruple." 

"Do  not  tempt  me." 

"Do  not  refuse  me." 

"Think  seriously  of  what  you  are  proposing." 

"Fouquet,  but  one  word.  Let  it  be  no,  and  I  open  this 
door,"  and  she  pointed  to  the  door  whijsli  led  into  the 
street,  "and  you  will  never  see  me  again.  Let  that  word 
be  yes,  and  I  am  yours  entirely." 

"Elise!  Elise!     But  this  coffer?" 

"It  contains  my  dowry." 

"It  is  your  ruin,"  exclaimed  Fouquet,  turning  over  the 
gold  and  papers;  "there  must  be  a  million  here." 

"Yes,  my  jewels,  for  which  I  care  no  longer  if  you  do 
not  love  me,  and  for  which,  equally,  I  care  no  longer  if  you 
love  me  as  I  love  you." 

"This  is  too  much,"  exclaimed  Fouquet.  "I  yield,  I 
yield,  even  were  it  only  to  consecrate  so  much  devotion. 
I  accept  the  dowry." 

"And  take  the  woman  with  it,"  said  the  marquise, 
throwing  herself  into  his  arms. 


LE    TERRAIN     DE     DIEU. 

DuRiisTG  the  progress  of  these  events  Buckingham  and  De 
Wardes  traveled  in  excellent  companionship,  and  made  the 
journey  from   Paris  to  Calais  in  undisturbed  harmony  to- 

204  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

gether.  Buckingham  had  hurried  his  departure,  so  that 
the  best  part  of  his  adieus  were  very  hastily  made.  His 
visit  to  Monsieur  and  madame,  to  the  young  queen,  and  to 
the  queen-dowagei',  had  been  paid  collectively — a  precaution 
on  the  part  of  the  queen-mother  which  saved  him  the  dis- 
tress of  any  private  conversation  with  Monsieur,  and  saved 
him  also  from  the  danger  of  seeing  madame  again.  The 
carriages  containing  the  luggage  had  already  been  sent  on 
beforehand,  and  in  the  evening  he  set  off  in  his  traveling 
carriage  with  his  attendants. 

De  Wardes,  irritated  at  finding  himself  dragged  away  in 
so  abrupt  a  manner  by  this  Englishman,  had  sought  in  his 
subtle  mind  for  some  means  of  escaping  from  his  fetters; 
but  no  one  having  rendered  him  any  assistance  in  this 
respect,  he  was  absolutely  obliged,  therefore,  to  submit  to 
the  burden  of  his  own  evil  thoughts  and  of  his  own  caustic 

Such  of  his  friends  in  whom  he  had  been  able  to  confide 
had,  in  their  character  of  wits,  rallied  him  upon  the  duke's 
superiority.  Others,  less  brilliant,  but  more  sensible,  had 
reminded  him  of  the  king's  orders  which  prohibited  duel- 
ing. Others,  again,  and  they  the  larger  number,  who,  from 
Christian  charity,  or  national  vanity,  might  have  rendered 
him  assistance,  did  not  care  to  run  the  risk  of  incurring  dis- 
grace, and  would,  at  the  best,  have  informed  the  ministers 
of  a  departure  which  might  end  in  a  massacre  on  a  small 
scale.  The  result  was  that,  after  having  fully  deliberated 
upon  the  matter,  De  Wardes  packed  up  his  luggage,  took  a 
couple  of  horses,  and,  followed  only  by  one  servant,  made 
his  way  toward  the  barrier,  where  Buckingham's  carriage 
was  to  await  him. 

The  duke  received  his  adversary  as  he  would  have  done 
an  intimate  acquaintance,  made  room  beside  him  on  the 
same  seat  with  himself,  offered  him  refreshments,  and 
spread  over  his  knees  the  sable  cloak  which  had  been  thrown 
on  the  front  seat.  They  then  conversed  of  the  court,  with- 
out alluding  to  madame;  of  Monsieur,  without  speaking  of 
domestic  affairs;  of  the  king,  without  speaking  of  his 
brother's  wife;  of  the  queen-mother,  without  alluding  to 
her  daughter-in-law;  of  the  King  of  England,  without 
alluding  to  his  sister-in-law;  of  the  state  of  the  affections  of 
either  of  the  travelers,  without  pronouncing  any  name  that 
might  be  dangerous.  In  this  way  the  journey,  which  was 
performed  by  short  stages,  was  most  agreeable,  and  Buck- 
ingham, almost  a  Frenchman,  from  his  wit  and  his  educa- 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  205 

tion,  was  delighted  at  having  so  admirably  selected  his 
traveling  companion.  Elegant  repasts  were  served,  of 
which  they  partook  but  lightly;  trials  of  horses  in  the  beau- 
tiful meadows  which  skirted  the  road;  coursing,  for  Buck- 
ingham had  his  greyhounds  with  him;  and  in  such  and 
other  various  ways  did  they  pass  away  the  time.  The  duke 
somewhat  resembled  the  beautiful  river  Seine,  which  in- 
closes France  a  thousand  times  in  its  loving  embraces,  be- 
fore deciding  upon  Joining  its  waters  with  the  ocean.  lu 
quitting  France,  it  was  her  recently  adopted  daughter  he 
had  brought  to  Paris,  whom  he  chiefly  regretted;  his  every 
thought  was  a  remembrance  of  her,  and  consequently  a 
regret.  Therefore,  whenever,  now  and  then,  despite  his 
command  over  himself,  he  was  lost  in  thought,  De  Wardes 
'left  him  entirely  to  his  musings.  This  delicacy  might  have 
touched  Buckingham,  and  changed  his  feelings  toward  De 
Wardes,  if  the  latter,  while  preserving  silence,  had  shown  a 
glance  less  full  of  malice  and  a  smile  less  false.  Instinctive 
dislikes,  however,  are  relentless;  nothing  appeases  them;  a 
few  ashes  may  sometimes  apparently  distinguish  them; 
but  beneath  those  ashes  the  smothered  flames  rage  more 
furiously.  Having  exhausted  all  the  means  of  amusement 
which  the  route  offered,  they  arrived,  as  we  have  said,  at 
Calais,  toward  the  end  of  the  sixth  day.  The  duke's  at- 
tendants had  already,  since  the  previous  evening,  been  in 
advance,  and  had  chartered  a  boat  for  the  purpose  of  join- 
ing the  yacht,  which  had  been  tacking  about  in  sight,  or 
bore  broadside  on,  whenever  it  felt  its  white  wings  wearied, 
within  two  or  three  cannon-shots  from  the  jetty. 

The  boat  was  destined  for  the  transport  of  the  duke's 
equipages  from  -the  shore  to  the  yacht.  The  horses  had 
been  embarked,  having  been  hoisted  from  the  boat  upon 
the  deck  in  baskets,  expressly  made  for  the  purpose,  and 
wadded  in  such  a  manner  that  their  limbs,  even  in  the  most 
violent  fits  of  terror  or  impatience,  were  always  protected 
by  the  soft  support  which  the  sides  afforded,  and  their  coats 
were  not  even  turned.  Eight  of  these  baskets,  placed  side 
by  side,  filled  the  ship's  hold.  It  is  well  known  that,  in 
short  voyages,  horses  refuse  to  eat,  but  remain  trembling 
all  the  while,  with  the  best  of  food  before  them,  such  as 
they  would  have  greatly  coveted  on  land.  By  degrees  the 
duke's  entire  equipage  was  transported  on  board  the  yacht; 
he  was  then  informed  that  everything  was  in  readiness,  and 
that  they  only  waited  for  him,  whenever  he  would  be  dis- 
posed to  embark  with  the  French  gentleman.     For  no  one 

206  TEK    YEARS    LATER. 

could  possibly  imagine  that  the  French  gentleman  would 
have  any  other  accounts  to  settle  with  his  grace  than  those 
of  friendship.  Buckingham  desired  the  captain  to  be  told 
to  hold  himself  in  readiness,  but  that,  as  the  sea  was  beau- 
tiful, and  as  the  day  promised  a  splendid  sunset,  he  did  not 
intend  to  go  on  board  until  nightfall,  and  would  avail  him- 
self of  the  evening  to  enjoy  a  walk  on  the  strand.  He 
added  also  that,  finding  himself  in  such  excellent  com- 
pany, he  had  not  the  least  desire  to  hasten  his  embarkation. 

As  he  said  this  he  pointed  out  to  those  who  surrounded 
him  the  magnificent  siJectacle  which  the  sky  presented,  of 
a  deep  purple  color  in  the  horizon,  and  an  amphitheater  of 
fleecy  clouds  ascending  from  the  sun's  disk  to  the  zenith, 
assuming  the  appearance  of  a  range  of  mountains,  whose 
summits  were  heaped  one  upon  another.  The  whole 
amphitheater  was  tinged  at  its  base  by  a  kind  of  blood-like 
foam,  fading  away  into  opal  and  pearl-like  tints,  in  propor- 
tion as  the  gaze  was  carried  from  the  base  to  the  summit. 
The  sea,  too,  was  tinged  with  the  same  reflection,  and  upon 
the  crest  of  every  azure  wave  danced  a  point  of  light,  like 
a  ruby  exposed  to  the  reflection  of  a  lamp.  The  mildness 
of  the  evening,  the  sea  breezes,  so  dear  to  contemplative 
minds,  a  stiff  breeze  setting  in  from  the  east  and  blowing 
in  harmonious  gusts;  then,  in  the  distance,  the  black  out- 
line of  the  yacht  with  its  rigging  traced  upon  the  impurpled 
background  of  the  sky — while,  dotting  the  horizon,  might 
be  seen  here  and  there  vessels  with  their  trimmed  sails, 
like  the  wings  of  a  sea-gull  about  to  plunge.  The  spectacle, 
indeed,  well  merited  admiration.  A  crowd  of  curious  idlers 
followed  the  richly  dressed  attendants,  among  whom  they 
mistook  the  intendant  and  the  secretary  for  the  master  and 
his  friend.  As  for  Buckingham,  who  dressed  very  simply, 
in  a  gray  satin  vest,  and  doublet  of  violet-colored  velvet, 
wearing  his  hat  thrust  over  his  eyes,  and  without  orders  or 
embroidery,  he  was  taken  no  more  notice  of  than  De 
Wardes,  who  was  dressed  in  black  like  an  attorney. 

The  duke's  attendants  had  received  directions  to  have  a 
boat  in  readiness  at  the  jetty  head,  and  to  watch  the  em- 
barkation of  their  master,  without  approaching  him  until 
either  he  or  his  friend  should  summon  them.  "Whatever 
may  happen,"  he  had  added,  laying  a  stress  upon  these 
words,  so  that  they  might  not  be  misunderstood.  Having 
walked  a  few  paces  upon  the  strand,  Buckingham  said  to 
De  Wardes,  "I  think  it  is  now  time  to  take  leave  of  each 
other.     The  tide,"you  perceive,  is  rising;  ten  minutes  hence 

TE]Sr   YEAKS    LA.TEK.  207 

it  will  have  soaked  the  sands  where  we  are  now  walking  in 
such  a  manner  that  we  shall  not  be  able  to  keep  our 

"1  await  your  orders,  my  lord;  but " 

•'But,  you  mean,  we  are  still  upon  soil  which  is  part  of 
the  king's  territory." 


"Well,  do  you  see  yonder  a  kind  of  little  island  sur- 
rounded by  a  circular  pool  of  water?  the  pool  is  increasing 
every  minute,  and  the  isle  is  gradually  disappearing.  This 
island,  indeed,  belongs  to  Heaven,  for  it  is  situated  between 
two  seas,  and  is  not  shown  on  the  king's  maps.  Do  you 
observe  it?" 

"Yes;  but  we  can  hardly  reach  it  now  without  getting 
our  feet  wet." 

"Yes;  but  observe  that  it  forms  an  eminence  tolerably 
high,  and  that  the  tide  rises  on  every  side,  leaving  the  top 
free.  We  shall  be  admirably  placed  upon  that  little  theater. 
What  do  you  think  of  it?" 

"I  shall  be  perfectly  happy  wherever  I  may  have  the 
honor  of  crossing  my  sword  with  your  lordship's." 

"Very  well,  then;  I  am  distressed  to  be  the  cause  of 
your  wetting  your  feet.  Monsieur  de  Wardes,  but  it  is  most 
essential  you  should  be  able  to  say  to  the  king,  'Sire,  I  did 
not  fight  upon  your  majesty's  territory.'  Perhaps  the  dis- 
tinction is  somewhat  subtle,  but  since  Port  Royal  you 
abound  in  subleties  of  expression.  Do  not  let  us  complain 
of  this,  however,  for  it  makes  your  wit  very  brilliant,  and 
of  a  style  peculiarly  your  own.  If  you  do  not  object  we 
will  hurry  ourselves,  for  the  sea,  I  perceive,  is  rising  fast, 
and  night  is  setting  in." 

"My  reason  for  not  walking  faster  was,  that  I  did  not 
wish  to  precede  your  grace.  Are  you  still  on  dry  land,  my 

"Yes,  at  present  I  am.  Look  yonder;  my  servants  are 
afraid  we  should  be  drowned,  and  have  converted  the  boat 
into  a  cruiser.  Do  you  remark  how  curiously  it  dances 
upon  the  crests  of  the  waves?  But  as  it  makes  me  feel 
seasick,  would  you  permit  me  to  turn  my  back  toward 

"You  will  observe,  my  lord,  that  in  turning  your  back 
to  them  you  will  have  the  sun  full  in  your  face." 

"Oh,  its  rays  are  very  feeble  at  this  hour,  and  it  will  soon 
disappear;  do  not  be  uneasy  at  that." 

"As  you  please,  my  lord;  it  was  out  of  consideration  for 
your  lordship  that  I  made  the  remark." 

208  TEN"   YEARS   LATER. 

"I  am  aware  of  that,  Monsieur  de  Wardes,  and  I  fully 
appreciate  your  kindness.     Shall  we  take  off  our  doublets?" 

"As  you  please,  my  lord." 

"Do  not  hesitate  to  tell  me,  Monsieur  de  "Wardes,  if  you 
do  not  feel  comfortable  upon  the  wet  sand,  or  if  you  think 
yourself  a  little  too  close  to  the  French  territory.  We 
could  fight  in  England,  or  else  upon  my  yacht." 

"We  are  exceedingly  well  placed  here,  my  lord;  only  I 
have  the  honor  to  remark  that,  as  the  sea  is  rising  fast,  we 
have  hardly  time " 

Buckingham  made  a  sign  of  assent,  took  off  his  doublet 
and  threw  it  on  the  ground,  a  proceeding  which  De  Wardes 
imitated.  Both  their  bodies,  which  seemed  like  two  phan- 
toms to  those  who  were  looking  at  them  from  the  shore, 
were  thrown  strongly  into  relief  by  a  dark-red  violet-colored 
shadow  with  which  the  sky  became  overspread. 

"Upon  my  word,  your  grace,"  said  De  Wardes,  "we  shall 
hardly  have  time  to  begin.  Do  you  not  perceive  how  our 
feet  are  sinking  in  the  sand?" 

"I  have  sunk  up  to  the  ankles,"  said  Buckingham, 
"without  reckoning  that  the  Avater  is  even  now  breaking  in 
upon  us." 

"It  has  already  reached  me.  As  soon  as  you  please, 
therefore,  your  grace,"  said  De  AVardes,  who  drew  his 
sword,  a  movement  imitated  by  the  duke. 

"Monsieur  de  Wardes,"  said  Buckingham,  "one  final 
word.  I  am  about  to  fight  you  because  I  do  not  like  you — 
because  you  have  wounded  me  in  ridiculing  a  certain  devo- 
tional regard  I  have  entertained,  and  one  which  I  acknowl- 
edge that,  at  this  moment,  I  still  retain,  and  for  which  I 
would  willingly  die.  You  are  a  bad  and  heartless  man. 
Monsieur  de  Wardes,  and  I  will  do  my  utmost  to  take  your 
life;  for  I  feel  assured  that,  if  you  survive  this  engagement, 
you  will  in  the  future-  work  great  mischief  toward  my  friends. 
That  is  all  I  have  to  remark,  Monsieur  de  Wardes,"  con- 
tinued Buckingham,  as  he  saluted  him. 

"And  I,  my  lord,  have  only  this  to  reply  to  you:  I  have 
not  disliked  you  hitherto,  but  since  you  have  divined  my 
character,  I  hate  you,  and  will  do  all  I  possibly  can  to  kill 
you;"  and  De  Wardes  saluted  Buckingham. 

They  crossed  swords  at  the  same  moment,  like  two  flashes 
of  lightning  in  a  dark  night.  The  swords  seemed  to  seek 
each  other,  guessed  their  position,  and  met.  Both  were 
practiced  swordsmen,  and  the  earlier  passes  were  without 
any  result.     The  night  was  fast  closing  in,  and  it  was  so 

TEN    YEARS   LATER.  309 

dark  that  they  attacked  and  defended  themselves  almost 
instinctively.  Suddenly  De  Wardes  felt  his  sword  arrested, 
he  had  just  touched  Buckingham's  shoulder.  The  duke's 
sword  sank,  as  his  arm  was  lowered. 

*'You  are  touched,  my  lord,"  said  De  Wardes,  drawing 
back  a  step  or  two. 

"Yes,  monsieur,  but  only  slightly." 

"Yet  you  quitted  your  guard." 

"Only  from  the  first  effect  of  the  cold  steel;  but  I  have 

"Let  us  go  on,  if  your  please."  And  disengaging  his 
sword  with  a  sinister  clashing  of  the  blade,  the  duke 
wounded  the  marquis  in  the  breast. 

"Touched  also,"  he  said. 

"No,"  said  De  Wardes,  not  moving  from  his  place. 

"I  beg  your  pardon,  but,  observing  that  your  shirt  was 
stained — "  said  Buckingham. 

"Well,"  said  De  Wardes  furiously,  "it  is  now  your  turn." 

And,  with  a  terrible  lunge,  he  pierced  Buckingham's  arm 
through,  the  sword  passing  between  the  two  bones.  Buck- 
ingham feeling  his  right  arm  paralyzed,  stretched  out  his 
left  arm,  seized  his  sword,  which  was  about  falling  from  his 
nerveless  grasp,  and  before  De  Wardes  could  resume  his 
guard  he  thrust  him  through  the  breast.  De  Wardes  tot- 
tered, his  knees  gave  way  beneath  him,  and  leaving  his 
sword  still  fixed  in  the  duke's  arm,  he  fell  into  the  water, 
which  was  soon  crimsoned  with  a  more  genuine  reflection 
than  that  which  it  had  assumed  from  the  clouds.  De 
Wardes  was  not  dead;  he  felt  the  terrible  danger  which 
menaced  him,  for  the  sea  rose  fast.  The  duke,  too,  per- 
ceived the  danger  also.  With  an  elfort,  and  an  exclamation 
of  pain,  he  tore  out  the  blade  which  remained  in  his  arm, 
and  turning  toward  De  Wardes,  said,  "Are  you  dead, 

"No,"  replied  De  Wardes,  in  a  voice  choked  by  the  blood 
which  rushed  from  his  lungs  to  his  throat,  "but  very  near 

"Well,  what  is  to  be  done;  can  you  walk?"  said  Bucking- 
ham, supporting  him  on  his  knee. 

"Impossible,"  he  replied.  Then  falling  down  again, 
said,  "Call  to  your  people,  or  I  shall  be  drowned." 

"Halloo!  boat  there!  quick!  quick!" 

The  boat  flew  over  the  waves,  but  the  sea  rose  faster  than 
the  boat  could  approach.  Buckingham  saw  that  De  Wardes 
was  on  the  point  of  being  again  covered  by  a  wave;  he 

210  TEN   YEAES   LATER. 

passed  his  left  arm,  safe  and  imwoimded,  round  his  body, 
and  raised  him  up.  The  wave  ascended  to  his  middle,  but 
could  not  move  him.  The  duke  immediately  began  to  walk 
toward  the  shore.  He  had  hardly  gone  ten  paces,  when  a 
second  wave,  rushing  onward  higher,  more  furious,  more 
menacing  than  the  former,  struck  him  at  the  height  of  his 
chest,  threw  him  over,  and  buried  him  beneath  the  water. 
At  tlie  reflux,  however,  the  duke  and  De  Wardes  were  dis- 
covered lying  on  the  strand.  De  Wardes  had  fainted.  At 
this  moment  four  of  the  duke's  sailors,  who  comprehended 
the  danger,  threw  themselves  into  the  sea,  and  in  a  moment 
were  close  beside  him.  Their  terror  was  extreme  when  they 
observed  how  their  master  became  covered  with  blood,  in 
proportion  as  the  water,  with  which  it  was  imj)regnated, 
flowed  toward  his  knees  and  feet;  they  wish  to  carry  him 

"No,  no,"  exclaimed  the  duke;  "take  the  marquis  on 
shore  first." 

"Death  to  the  Frenchman!"  cried  the  English  sullenly. 

"Wretched  knaves!"  exclaimed  the  duke,  drawing  him- 
self up  with  a  haughty  gesture,  which  sprinkled  them  with 
blood;  "obey  directly!  Monsieur  de  Wardes  on  shore! 
Monsieur  de  Wardes'  safety  to  be  looked  to  first,  or  I  will 
have  you  all  hanged." 

The  boat  had  by  this  time  reached  them;  the  secretary 
and  intendant  leaped  into  the  sea,  and  approached  the  mar- 
quis, who  no  longer  showed  any  sign  of  life. 

"I  commit  him  to  your  care,  as  you  value  your  lives," 
said  the  duke.  "Take  Monsieur  de  W^ardes  on  shore." 
They  took  him  in  their  arms,  and  carried  him  to  the  dry 
sand,  where  the  tide  never  rose  so  high.  A  few  idlers  and 
five  or  six  fishermen  had  gathered  on  the  shore,  attracted 
by  the  strange  spectacle  of  two  men  fighting  with  the  water 
up  to  their  knees.  The  fishermen,  observing  a  grouj)  of 
men  approaching,  carrying  a  wounded  man,  entered  the 
sea  until  the  water  was  up  to  the  middle  of  their  bodies. 
The  English  transferred  the  wounded  man  to  them,  at  the 
very  moment  the  latter  began  to  open  his  eyes  again. '  The  salt 
water  and  the  fine  sand  had  got  into  his  wounds,  and  caused 
him  the  acutest  pain.  The  duke's  secretary  drew  out  a 
purse  filled  with  gold  from  his  pocket,  and  handed  it  to  the 
one  among  those  present  who  appeared  of  most  importance, 
saying:  "From  my  master.  His  Grace  the  Duke  of  Buck- 
ingham, in  order  that  every  conceivable  care  may  be  taken 
of  the  Marquis  de  Wardes." 

TEN"    YEARS    LATER.  211 

Then,  followed  by  those  who  had  accompanied  him,  he 
returned  to  the  boat,  which  Buckingham  had  been  enabled 
to  reach  with  the  greatest  difficulty,  but  only  after  he  had 
seen  De  Wardes  out  of  danger.  By  this  time  it  was  high 
tide;  the  embroidered  coats  and  silk  sashes  were  lost;  many 
hats,  too,  had  been  carried  away  by  the  waves.  The  flow  of 
the  tide  had  borne  the  duke's  and  De  Wardes'  clothes  to 
the  shore,  and  De  Wardes  was  wrapped  in  the  duke's 
doublet,  under  the  belief  that  it  was  his  own,  and  they  car- 
ried him  in  their  arms  toward  the  town. 



As  soon  as  Buckingham  had  gone  De  Guiche  imagined 
that  the  coast  would  be  perfectly  clear  for  him  without  any 
interference.  Monsieur,  who  no  longer  retained  the  slight- 
est feeling  of  jealousy,  and  who,  besides,  permitted  himself 
to  be  monopolized  by  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine,  allowed  as 
much  liberty  and  freedom  in  his  house  as  the  most  exact- 
ing person  could  desire.  The  king,  on  his  side,  who  had 
conceived  a  strong  predilection  for  madame's  society,  in- 
vented a  variety  of  amusements,  in  quick  succession  to  one 
another,  in  order  to  render  her  residence  in  Paris  as  cheer- 
ful as  possible,  so  that,  in  fact,  not  a  day  passed  without  a 
ball  at  the  Palais  Royal  or  a  reception  in  Monsieur's  apart- 
ments. The  king  had  directed  that  Fontainebleau  should 
be  prepared  for  the  reception  of  the  court,  and  every  one 
was  using  his  utmost  interest  to  get  invited.  Madame 
led  a  life  of  incessant  occupation;  neither  her  voice  nor  her 
pen  was  idle  for  a  moment.  The  conversations  with  De 
Guiche  were  gradually  assuming  a  tone  of  interest  which 
might  unmistakably  be  recognized  as  the  preludes  of  a  deep- 
seated  attachment.  When  eyes  look  languishingly  while 
the  subject  under  discussion  happens  to  be  colors  of  material 
for  dresses;  when  a  whole  hour  is  occupied  in  analyzing  the 
merits  and  the  perfume  of  a  sachet  or  a  flower,  there  are 
words  in  this  style  of  conversation  which  every  one  might 
listen  to,  but  there  are  gestures  and  sighs  which  every  one 
cannot  perceive.  After  madame  had  talked  for  some  time 
with  De  Guiche  she  conversed  with  the  king,  who  paid  her 
a  visit  regularly  every  day.  They  played,  wrote  verses,  or 
selected  mottoes  or  emblematical  devices;  the  spring  was 

212  TEN   TEARS   LATER. 

not  only  the  spring-time  of  seasons,  it  was  the  youth  of  au 
entire  people,  of  which  those  at  court  were  the  head.  The 
king  was  handsome,  young,  and  of  unequaled  gallantry. 
All  women  were  passionately  loved  by  him,  even  the  queen, 
his  wife.  This  great  king  was,  however,  more  timid  and 
more  reserved  than  any  other  person  in  the  kingdom,  to 
such  a  degree,  indeed,  that  he  had  not  confessed  his  senti- 
ments even  to  himself.  This  timidity  of  bearing  restrained 
him  within  the  limits  of  ordinary  politeness,  and  no  woman 
could  boast  of  having  any  preference  shown  her  beyond  that 
shown  to  others.  It  might  be  foretold  that  the  day  when 
his  real  character  would  be  displayed  would  be  the  dawn 
of  a  new  sovereignty;  but  as  yet  he  had  not  declared  him- 
self. M.  de  Guiche  took  advantage  of  this,  and  constituted 
himself  the  sovereign  prince  of  the  whole  amorous  court. 
It  had  been  reported  that  he  v/as  on  the  best  of  terms  with 
Mile,  de  Montalais;  that  he  had  been  assiduously  attentive  to 
Mile,  de  Chatillon;  but  now  he  was  not  even  barely  civil  to 
any  of  the  court  beauties.  He  had  eyes  and  ears  but  for  one 
person  alone.  In  this  manner,  and,  as  it  were,  without  de- 
sign, he  devoted  himself  to  Monsieur,  who  had  a  great  re- 
gard for  him,  and  kept  him  as  much  as  possible  in  his  own 
apartments.  Unsociable  from  natural  disposition,  he  es- 
tranged himself  too  much  previous  to  the  arrival  of  ma- 
dame,  but  after  her  arrival  he  did  not  estrange  himself 
sufficiently.  This  conduct,  which  every  one  had  observed, 
had  been  particularly  remarked  by  the  evil  genius  of  the 
house,  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine,  for  whom  Monsieur  ex- 
hibited the  warmest  attachment,  because  he  was  of  a  very 
cheerful  disposition,  even  in  his  remarks  most  full  of  malice, 
and  because  he  was  never  at  a  loss  how  to  make  the  time 
pass  away.  The  Chevalier  de  Lorraine,  therefore,  having 
noticed  that  he  was  threatened  with  being  supplanted  by 
De  Guiche,  resorted  to  strong  measures.  He  disappeared 
from  the  court,  leaving  Monsieur  much  embarrassed.  The 
first  day  of  his  disappearance  Monsieur  hardly  inquired 
about  him,  for  he  had  De  Guiche  with  him,  and,  except  the 
time  devoted  to  conversation  with  madame,  his  days  and 
nights  were  rigorously  devoted  to  the  prince.  On  the 
second  day,  however.  Monsieur,  finding  no  one  near  him, 
inquired  where  the  chevalier  was.  He  was  told  that  no  one 

De  Guiche,  after  having  spent  the  morning  in  selecting 
embroideries  and  fringes  with  madame,  went  to  console  the 
prince.     But  after  dinner,  as  there  were  tulips  and  ame- 

TEN   YEARS   LATER.  213 

thysts  to  look  at,  De  Guiche  returned  to  madame's  cabinet. 
Monsieur  was  left  quite  to  himself  during  all  the  time  he 
devoted  to  dressing  and  decorating  himself;  he  felt  that  he 
was  the  most  miserable  of  men,  and  again  inquired  whether 
there  w&s  any  news  of  the  chevalier,  in  reply  to  which  he 
was  told  that  no  one  knew  where  the  chevalier  was  to  be 
found.  Monsieur,  hardly  knowing  in  what  direction  to 
inflict  his  weariness,  went  to  madame's  apartments  dressed 
in  his  morning-gown.  He  found  a  large  assemblage  of 
people  there,  laughing  and  Avhispering  in  every  part  of  the 
room;  at  one  end,  a  group  of  women  around  one  of  the 
courtiers  talking  together  amid  smothered  bursts  of  laugh- 
ter; at  the  other  end,  Manicamp  and  Malicorne  were  being 
pillaged  by  Montalais  and  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente,  while 
two  others  were  standing  by,  laughing.  In  another  part 
were  madame,  seated  upon  some  cushions  on  the  floor,  and 
De  Guiche,  on  his  knees  beside  her,  spreading  out  a  hand- 
ful of  pearls  and  precious  stones,  while  the  princess,  with 
her  white  and  slender  finger,  pointed  out  such  among  them 
as  pleased  her  the  most.  Again,  in  another  corner  of  the 
room,  a  guitar-player  was  playing  some  of  the  Spanish 
sequedillas,  to  which  madame  had  taken  the  greatest  fancy 
ever  since  she  had  heard  them  sung  by  the  young  queen 
with  a  melancholy  expression  of  voice.  But  the  songs 
which  the  Spanish  princess  had  sung  with  tears  in  her  eyes 
the  young  English  woman  was  humming  with  a  smile  which 
displayed  her  beautiful  pearl-like  teeth.  The  cabinet  pre- 
sented, in  fact,  the  most  perfect  representation  of  unre- 
strained pleasure  and  amusement.  As  he  entered  Monsieur 
was  struck  at  beholding  so  many  persons  enjoying  them- 
selves without  him.  He  was  so  jealous  at  the  sight  that  he 
could  not  resist  saying,  like  a  child,  "What!  you  are  amus- 
ing yourselves  here,  while  I  am  sick  and  tired  of  being 

The  sound  of  his  voice  was  like  a  clap  of  thunder  which 
interrupts  the  warbling  of  birds  under  the  leafy  covert  of 
the  trees.  A  dead  silence  ensued.  De  Guiche  was  on  his 
feet  in  a  moment.  Malicorne  tried  to  hide  himself  behind 
Montalais'  dress.  Manicamp  stood  bolt  upright,  and  as- 
sumed a  very  ceremonious  demeanor.  The  guitar-player 
thrust  his  guitar  under  a  table,  covering  it  with  a  piece  of 
carpet  to  conceal  it  from  the  prince's  observation.  Madame 
was  the  only  one  who  did  not  move,  and.  smiling  at  her 
husband,  said,  "Is  not  this  the  Jaour  you  usually  devote  to 
your  toilet?" 

214  TEN    YEAKS    LATEE. 

"An  hour  which  others  select,  it  seems,  for  amusing 
themselves,"  replied  the  prince  gnimblingly. 

This  untoward  remark  was  the  signal  for  a  general  rout; 
the  women  fled  like  a  flight  of  terrified  birds,  the  guitar- 
player  vanished  like  a  shadow,  Malicorne,  stilL  protected  by 
Montalais,  who  purposely  widened  out  her  dress,  glided  be- 
hind the  hanging  tapestry.  As  for  Manicamp,  he  went  to 
the  asssistance  of  De  Guiche,  who  naturally  remained  near 
madame,  and  both  of  them,  with  the  princess  herself, 
courageously  sustained  the  attack.  The  comte  was  too 
happy  to  bear  malice  against  the  husband;  but  Monsieur 
bore  a  grudge  against  his  wife.  Nothing  was  wanting  but 
a  quarrel;  he  sought  it,  and  the  hurried  departure  of  the 
crowd,  which  had  been  so  joyous  before  he  arrived,  and  was 
so  disturbed  by  his  entrance,  furnished  him  with  a  pretext. 

"Why  do  they  run  away  at  the  sight  of  me?"  he  inquired,  in 
a  supercilious  tone;  to  which  remark  madame  replied,  "That, 
whenever  the  master  of  the  house  made  his  appearance,  the 
family  kept  aloof  out  of  respect."  As  she  said  this  she 
made  so  funny  and  so  pretty  a  grimace  that  De  Guiche  and 
Manicamp  could  not  control  themselves;  they  burst  into  a 
peal  of  laughter;  madame  followed  their  example,  and  even 
Monsieur  himself  could  not  resist  it,  and  he  was  obliged  to 
sit  down,  as  for  laughing  he  could  scarcely  keep  his  equilib- 
rium. However,  he  very  soon  left  off,  but  his  anger  had 
increased.  He  was  still  more  furious  from  having 
allowed  himself  to  laugh  than  from  having  seen  others 
laugh.  He  looked  at  Manicamp  steadily,  not  venturing  to 
show  his  anger  toward  De  Guiche;  but,  at  a  sign  which  dis- 
played no  little  amount  of  annoyance,  Manicamp  and  De 
Guiche  left  the  room,  so  that  madame,  left  alone,  began 
sadly  to  pick  up  her  pearls,  no  longer  laughing,  and  speak- 
ing still  less. 

"I  am  very  happy,"  said  the  duke,  "to  find  myself  treated 
as  a  stranger  here,  madame;"  and  he  left  the  room  in  a 
passion.  On  his  way  out  he  met  Montalais,  who  was  in 
attendance  in  the  anteroom.  "It  is  very  agreeable  to  pay 
you  a  visit  here,  but  outside  the  door." 

Montalais  made  a  very  low  obeisance.  "I  do  not  quite 
understand  what  your  royal  highness  does  me  the  honor  to 

"I  say  that  when  you  are  all  laughing  together  in  ma- 
dame's  apartment,  he  is  an  unwelcome  visitor  who  does  not 
remain  outside." 

"Your  royal  highness  does  not  think,  and  does  not  speak 
so,  of  yourself." 

TEN    YEAKS    LATER.  215 

"On  the  contrary,,  it  is  on  my  own  account  that  I  do  siDcak 
and  think.  I  have  no  reason,  certainly,  to  flatter  myself 
about  the  receptions  I  meet  with  here  at  any  time.  How  is 
it  that,  on  the  very  day  there  is  music  and  a  little  society 
in'  madame's  apartments — in  my  own  apartments,  indeed, 
for  they  are  mine — on  the  very  day  that  I  wish  to  amuse 
myself  a  little  in  my  turn,  every  one  runs  away?  Are  they 
afraid  to  see  me,  that  they  all  took  to  flight  as  soon  as  I  ap- 
peared? Is  there  anything  wrong,  then,  going  on  in  my 

"Yet  nothing  has  been  done  to-day,  monseigneur,  which 
is  not  done  every  day." 

"What!  do  they  laugh  like  that  every  day?" 

"Why,  yes,  monseigneur." 

"The  same  group  of  people  and  the  same  scraping  going 
on  every  day?" 

"The  guitar,  monseigneur,  was  introduced  to-day;  but 
when  we  have  no  guitars,  we  have  violins  and  flutes;  women 
get  wearied  without  music." 

"The  deuce!  and  the  men?" 

"Wliat  men,  monseigneur?" 

"Monsieur  de  Guiche,  Monsieur  de  Manicamp,  and  the 

"They  all  belong  to  your  highness'  household." 

"Yes,  yes,  you're  right,"  said  the  prince,  as  he  returned 
to  his  own  apartments,  full  of  thought.  He  threw  himself 
into  the  largest  of  his  armchairs,  without  looking  at  him- 
self in  the  glass.  "Where  can  the  chevalier  be?"  said  he. 
One  of  the  prince's  attendants  happened  to  be  near  him, 
overheard  his  remark,  and  replied: 

"No  one  knows,  your  highness." 

"Still  the  same  answer.  The  first  one  who  answers  me 
again,  'I  do  not  know,'  I  will  discharge."  Every  one  at 
this  remark  hurried  out  of  his  apartments,  in  the  same 
manner  as  the  others  had  fled  from  madame's  apartments. 
The  prince  then  flew  into  the  wildest  rage.  He  kicked  over 
a  chiffonier,  which  tumbled  on  the  carpet,  broken  into 
pieces.  He  next  went  into  the  galleries,  and  with  the 
greatest  coolness  threw  down,  one  after  another,  an  enameled 
vase,  a  porphyry  ewer,  and  a  bronze  chandelier.  The 
noise  summoned  every  one  to  the  various  doors. 

"What  is  your  highness'  pleasure?"  said  the  captain  of 
the  guards  timidly. 

"I  am  treating  myself  to  some  music,"  replied  the  prince, 
gnashing  his  teeth. 


The  captain  of  the  guards  desired  his  royal  highness' 
physician  to  be  sent  for.  But  before  he  came  Malicorne 
arrived,  saying  to  the  prince,  "Monseigneur,  the  Cheva- 
lier de  Lorraine  is  here." 

The  duke  looked  at  Malicorne,  and  smiled  graciously  at 
him,  just  as  the  chevalier  entered  in  fact. 



The  Due  d'Orleans  uttered  a  cry  of  delight  on  perceiv 
ing  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine.  "This  is  fortunate,  indeed," 
he  said.  "By  what  happy  chance  do  I  see  you?  Had  you 
indeed  disappeared,  as  every  one  assured  me?" 

"Yes,  monseigneur." 

"Some  caprice?" 

"I  to  venture  upon  caprices  with  your  highness!  The 
respect " 

"Put  respect  out  of  the  way,  for  you  fail  in  it  every  day. 
I  absolve  you;  but  why  did  you  leave  me?" 

"Because  I  felt  that  I  was  of  no  use  to  you." 

"Explain  yourself." 

"Your  highness  has  people  about  you  who  are  far  more 
amusing  than  I  can  ever  be.  I  felt  that  I  was  not  strong 
enough  to  enter  into  a  contest  with  them,  and  I  therefore 

"This  extreme  diffidence  shows  a  want  of  common  sense. 
Who  are  those  with  whom  you  cannet  contend?  De 

"I  name  no  one." 

"This  is  absurd.     Does  De  Guiche  annoy  you?" 

"I  do  not  say  he  does;  do  not  force  me  to  speak,  how- 
ever; you  know  very  well  that  De  Guiche  is  one  of  our  best 

"Who  is  it,  then?" 

"Excuse  me,  monseigneur,  let- us  say  no  more  about  it." 
The  chevalier  knew  perfectly  well  that  curiosity  is  excited 
in  the  same  way  as  thirst — by  removing  what  quenches  it; 
or,  in  others  words,  by  delaying  the  explanation. 

"No,  no,"  said  the  prince,  "I  wish  to  know  why  you 
went  away." 

"In  that  case,  monseigneur,  I  will  tell  you;  but  do  not 
be  angry.     I  remarked  that  my  presence  was  disagreeable." 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  217 

"To  whom?" 

"To  madame." 

"What  do  you  mean?"  said  the  duke,  in  astonishment. 

"It  is  simple  enough:  madame  is  very  probably  jealous  of 
the  regard  you  are  good  enough  to  testify  for  me." 

"Has  she  shown  it  to  you?" 

"Madame  never  addresses  a  syllable  to  me,  particularly 
since  a  certain  time." 

"Since  what  time?" 

"Since  the  time  when.  Monsieur  de  Guiche  having  made 
himself  more  agreeable  to  her  than  I  could,  she  receives 
him  at  every  and  any  hour." 

The  duke  colored.  "At  any  hour,  chevalier;  what  do 
you  mean  by  that?" 

"You  see,  your  highness,  I  have  already  displeased  you; 
I  was  quite  sure  I  should." 

"I  am  not  displeased;  but  you  say  things  a  little  strong. 
In  what  respect  does  madame  prefer  De  Guiche  to  you?" 

"I  shall  say  no  more,"  said  the  chevalier,  saluting  the 
prince  ceremoniously. 

"On  the  contrary,  I  require  you  to  speak.  If  you  v^'ith- 
draw  on  that  account  you  must  indeed  be  very  jealous." 

"One  cannot  help  being  jealous,  monseigneur,  when  one 
loves.  Is  not  your  royal  highness  jealous  of  madame? 
Would  not  your  royal  highness  if  you  saw  some  one  always 
near  madame  and  always  treated  with  great  favor  take 
umbrage  at  it?  One's  friends  are  as  one's  lovers.  Your 
royal  highness  has  sometimes  conferred  the  distinguished 
honor  upon  me  of  calling  me  your  friend." 

"Yes,  yes;  but  you  used  a  phrase  which  has  a  very  equivo- 
cal signification;  you  are  unfortunate  in  your  remarks." 

"What  phrase,  monseigneur?" 

"You  said,  'treated  with  great  favor.'  What  do  you 
mean  by  favor?" 

"Nothing  can  be  more  simple,"  said  the  chevalier  with  an 
expression  of  great  frankness;  "for  instance,  whenever  a 
husband  remarks  that  his  wife  summons  such  and  such  a 
man  near  her — whenever  this  man  is  always  to  be  found  by 
her  side  or  in  attendance  at  the  door  of  her  carriage;  when- 
ever the  bouquet  of  the  one  is  always  the  same  color  as  the 
ribbons  of  the  other — when  music  and  supper-parties  are 
held  in  the  private  apartments — whenever  a  dead  silence  takes 
place  immediately  the  husband  makes  his  appearance  in  his 
wife's  rooms — and  when  the  husband  suddenly  finds  that 
he  has  as  a  companion  the  most  devoted  and  kindest  of  men, 
DuiiAS— Vol.  XY.  -  la 

218  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

who  a  week  before  was  with  him  as  little  as  possible;  why, 
then " 

"Well,  finish." 

"Why,  then,  I  say,  monseigneur,  one  possibly  may  get 
jealous.  But  all  these  details  hardly  apply;  for  our  conver- 
sation had  nothing  to  do  with  them." 

The  duke  was  evidently  much  agitated,  and  seemed  to 
struggle  within  himself  a  good  deal.  "You  have  not  told 
me,"  he  then  remarked,  "why  you  absented  yourself.  A 
little  while  ago  you  said  it  was  from  a  fear  of  intruding; 
you  added  even  that  you  had  observed  a  disposition  on 
madame's  part  to  encourage  De  Guiche." 

"Pardon  me,  monseigneur,  I  did  not  say  that." 

"You  did,  indeed." 

"Well,  if  I  did  say  so  I  noticed  nothing  but  what  was  very 

"At  all  events,  you  remarked  something." 

"You  embarrass  me,  monseigneur." 

"What  does  that  matter?  Answer  me.  If  you  speak 
the  truth  why  should  you  feel  embarrassed?" 

"I  always  speak  the  truth,  monseigneur;  but  I  also  always 
hesitate  when  it  is  a  question  of  repeating  what  others  say." 

"Ah!  ah!  you  repeat?  It  appears  that  it  is  talked  about, 

"I  acknowledge  that  others  have  spoken  to  me  on  the 

"Who?"  said  the  prince. 

The  chevalier  assumed  almost  an  angry  air  as  he  replied, 
"Monseigneur,  you  are  subjecting  me  to  the  question;  you 
treat  me  as  a  criminal  at  the  bar;  and  the  rumors  which 
idly  pass  by  a  gentleman's  ears  do  not  remain  there.  Your 
highness  wishes  me  to  magnify  the  rumor  until  it  attains 
the  importance  of  an  event." 

"However,"  sad  the  duke  in  great  displeasure,  "the  fact 
remains  that  you  withdraw  on  account  of  this  report." 

"To  speak  the  truth,  others  have  talked  to  me  of  the  at- 
tentions of  Monsieur  de  Guiche  to  madame,  nothing  more; 
perfectly  harmless,  I  repeat,  and  more  than  that,  permissible. 
But  do  not  be  unjust,  monseigneur,  and  do  not  attach  an 
undue  importance  to  it.     It  does  not  concern  you." 

"Monsieur  de  Guiche's  attentions  to  madame  do  not  con- 
cern me?" 

"No  monseigneur;  and  what  I  say  to  you  I  would  say  to 
De  Guiche  himself,  so  little  do  I  think  of  the  attentions  he 
pays  madame.     Nay,  I  would  say  it  even  to  madame  herself. 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  219 

Only  you  understand  what  I  am  afraid  of — I  am  afraid  of 
being  thought  jealous  of  the  favor  shown,  when  I  am,  only 
jealous  as  far  as  friendship  is  concerned.  I  know  your  dis- 
position; I  know  that  when  you  bestow  your  affections  you 
become  exclusively  attached.  You  love  madame — and  who, 
indeed,  would  not  love  her?  Follow  me  attentively  as  I 
proceed:  Madame  has  noticed  among  your  friends  the  hand- 
somest and  most  fascinating  of  them  all;  she  will  begin  to 
influence  you  on  his  behalf,  in  such  a  way  that  you  will 
neglect  the  others.  Your  indifference  would  kill  me;  it  is 
already  bad  enough  to  have  to  support  madame's  indiffer- 
ence. I  have,  therefore,  made  up  my  mind  to  give  way  to 
the  favorite  whose  happiness  I  envy  even  while  I  acknowl- 
edge my  sincere  friendship  and  sincere  admiration  for  him. 
Well,  monseigneur,  do  you  see  anything  to  object  to  in  this 
reasoning?  Is  it  not  that  of  a  of  honor?  Is  my  conduct 
that  of  a  sincere  friend?  Answer  me,  at  least,  after  having 
so  closely  questioned  me." 

The  duke  had  seated  himself,  with  his  head  buried  in  his 
hands.  After  a  silence  long  enough  to  enable  the  cheva- 
lier to  judge  of  the  effect  of  his  oratorical  display,  the  duke 
rose,  saying,  "Come,  be  candid." 

"As  I  always  am." 

"Very  well.  You  know  that  we  already  observed  some- 
thing respecting  that  mad  fellow,  Buckingham." 

"Do  not  say  anything  against  madame,  monseigneur,  or 
I  shall  take  my  leave.  It  is  impossible  you  can  be  suspicious 
of  madame?" 

"No,  no,  chevalier;  I  do  not  suspect  madame;  but,  in 
fact,  I  observe — I  compare " 

"Buckingham  was  a  madman,  monseigneur." 

"A  madman  about  whom,  however,  you  opened  my  eyes 

"No,  no,"  said  the  chevalier  quickly;  "it  was  not  I  who 
opened  your  eyes.  It  was  De  Guiche.  Do  not  confound 
us,  I  beg."  And  he  began  to  laugh  in  so  harsh  a  manner 
that  it  sounded  like  the  hiss  of  a  serpent. 

"Yes,  yes;  I  remember.  You  said  a  few  words,  but  De 
Guiche  showed  the  most  jealousy." 

"I  should  think  so,"  continued  the  chevalier,  in  the 
same  tone.     "He  was  fighting  for  home  and  altar." 

"What  did  you  say?"  said  the  duke  haughtily,  thor- 
ouglily  roused  by  this  insidious  jest. 

"Am  I  not  right?  for  does  not  Monsieur  de  Guiche  hold 
the  chief  post  of  honor  in  your  household?" 

230  TEN"    YEAKS    LATER. 

''Well/'  replied  the  duke,  somewhat  calmed,  *'had  this 
passion  of  Buckingham  been  remarked?" 


"Very  well.  Do  people  say  that  Monsieur  de  Guiche's  is 
remarked  as  much?" 

"Pardon  me,  monseigneur;  you  are  again  mistaken;  no 
one  says  that  Monsieur  de  Guiche  entertains  anything  of 
the  sort." 

"Very  good." 

"You  see,  monseigneur,  that  it  would  have  been  better, 
a  hundred  times  better,  to  have  left  me  in  my  retirement, 
than  to  have  allowed  you  to  conjure  up,  by  the  aid  of  any 
scruples  I  may  have  had,  suspicions  which  madame  will 
regard  as  crimes,  and  she  will  be  right,  too." 

"What  would  you  do?" 

"Act  reasonably." 

"In  what  way?" 

"I  should  not  pay  the  slightest  attention  to  the  society 
of  these  new  Epicurean  philosophers;  and,  in  that  way,  the 
rumors  will  cease." 

"Well,  I  shall  see;  I  shall  think  over  it." 

"Oh,  you  have  time  enough;  the  danger  is  not  great; 
and  then,  besides,  it  is  not  a  question  either  of  danger  or  of 
passion.  It  all  arose  from  a  fear  I  had  to  see  your  friend- 
ship for  me  decrease.  From  the  very  moment  you  restore 
it  me,  with  so  kind  an  assurance  of  its  existence,  I  have  no 
longer  any  other  idea  in  my  head." 

"The  duke  shook  his  head,  as  if  he  meant  to  say:  "If 
you  have  no  more  ideas,  I  have  though."  It  being  now  the 
dinner-hour,  the  prince  sent  to  inform  madame  of  it,  who 
returned  a  message  to  the  effect  that. she  could  not  be 
present,  but  would  dine  in  her  own  apartment. 

"That  is  not  my  fault,"  said  the  duke.  "This  morning, 
having  taken  them  by  surprise,  in  the  midst  of  a  musical 
party,  I  got  jealous;  and  so  they  are  in  the  sulks  with  me." 

"We  will  dine  alone,"  said  the  chevalier,  with  a  sigh;  "I 
regret  De  Guiche  is  not  here." 

"Oh!  De  Guiche  will  not  remain  long  in  the  sulks;  he  is 
a  very  good-natured  fellow." 

"Monseigneur,"  said  the  chevalier  suddenly,  "an  excel- 
lent idea  has  struck  me,  in  our  conversation  just  now.  I 
may  have  exasperated  your  highness,  and  caused  you  some 
dissatisfaction.  It  is  but  fitting  that  I  should  be  the  medi- 
ator. I  will  go  and  look  for  the  comte,  and  bring  him  back 
with  me." 

TEN   TEARS   LATER.  321 

"Ah!  chevalier,  you  ^.re  really  a  very  good-natured 

"You  say  that  as  if  you  were  surprised." 

"T^^ell,  you  are  not  so  tender-hearted  every  day." 

"Tnat  may  be;  but  confess  that  I  know  how  to  repair  a 
wrong  I  may  have  done." 

"I  confess  that." 

"Will  your  highness  do  me  the  favor  to  wait  here  a  few 

"Willingly;  be  off,  and  I  will  try  on  my  Fontainebleau 

The  chevalier  left  the  room,  called  his  different  attendants 
with  the  greatest  care,  as  if  he  were  giving  them  different 
orders.  All  went  off'  in  various  directions;  but  he  retained 
his  valet  de  chamhre.  "Ascertain,  and  immediately,  too, 
if  Monsieur  de  Guiche  is  not  in  madame's  apartments. 
How  can  one  learn  it?" 

"Very  easily,  monsieur.  I  will  ask  Malicorne,  who 
will  learn  it  from  Mademoiselle  de  Montalais.  I  may  as 
well  tell  you,  however,  that  the  inquiry  will  be  useless;  for 
all  Monsieur  de  Guiche's  attendants  are  gone,  and  he  must 
have  left  with  them." 

"Try  and  learn,  nevertheless." 

Ten  minutes  had  hardly  passed,  when  the  valet  returned. 
He  beckoned  his  master  mysteriously  toward  the  servants' 
staircase,  and  showed  him  into  a  small  room  with  a  window 
looking  out  upon  the  garden.  "What  is  the  matter?"  said 
the  chevalier;  "why  so  many  precautions?" 

"Look,  monsieur,"  said  the  valet,  "look  yonder,  under 
the  walnut-tree." 

"Ah!"  said  the  chevalier.  "I  see  Manicamp  there. 
What  is  he  waiting  for?" 

"You  will  see  in  a  moment,  monsieur,  if  you  wait 
patiently.     There,  do  you  see  now?" 

"I  see  one,  two,  four  musicians,  with  their  instruments, 
and  behind  them,  urging  them  on,  De  Guiche  himself. 
What  is  he  doing  there,  though?" 

"He  is  waiting  until  the  little  door  of  the  staircase,  be- 
longing to  the  ladies  of  honor,  is  opened;  by  that  staircase 
he  will  ascend  to  madame's  apartments,  where  some  new 
pieces  of  music  are  going  to  be  performed  during  dinner." 

"That  is  admirable  which  you  tell  me." 

"Is  it  not,  monsieur?" 

"Was  it  Monsieur  de  Malicorne  who  told  you  this?'* 

"Yes,  monsieur." 

223  TEN   TEARS    LATER. 

"He  likes  you,  then?" 

"No,  monsieur,  it  is  Monsieur  whom  he  likes." 


"Because  he  wishes  to  belong  to  his  household." 

"And  most  certainly  he  shall.  How  much  did  he  give 
you  for  that?" 

"The  secret  which  I  now  dispose  of  to  you,  monsieur?" 

"And  which  I  buy  for  a  hundred  pistoles.     Take  them." 

"Thank  you,  monsieur.  Look,  look!  the  little  door 
opens,  a  woman  admits  the  musicians." 

"It  is  Montalais." 

"Hush,  monseigneur;  do  not  call  out  her  name;  whoever 
says  Montalais  says  Malicorne.  If  you  quarrel  with  the 
one,  you  will  be  on  bad  terms  with  the  other." 

"Very  well;  I  have  seen  nothing." 

"And  I,"  said  the  valet,  pocketing  the  purse,  "have  re- 
ceived nothing." 

The  chevalier,  being  now  certain  that  Guichehad  entered, 
returned  to  the  prince,  whom  he  found  splendidly  dressed 
and  radiant  with  joy,  as  with  good  looks.  "I  am  told,"  he 
exclaimed,  "that  the  king  has  taken  the  sun  as  his  device; 
really,  monseigneur,  it  is  you  whom  this  device  would  best 

"Where  is  De  Guichc?" 

"He  cannot  be  found.  He  has  fled — has  evaporated  en- 
tirely. Your  scolding  of  this  morning  terrified  him.  He 
could  not  be  found  in  his  apartments." 

"Bah!  the  hare-brained  fellow  is  capable  of  setting  off 
post-haste  to  his  own  estates.  Poor  fellow!  we  will  recall 
him.     Come,  let  us  dine  now." 

"Monseigneur,  to-day  is  a  day  of  ideas;  I  have  another." 

"What  is  it?" 

"Madame  is  angry  with  you,  and  she  has  reason  to  be  so. 
You  owe  her  her  revenge;  go  and  dine  with  her." 

"Oh!  that  would  be  acting  like  a  weak  husband." 

"It  is  the  duty  of  a  good  husband  to  do  so.  The  princess 
is  no  doubt  wearied  enough;  she  Avill  be  weeping  in  her 
plate,  and  her  eyes  will  get  quite  red.  A  husband  who  is 
the  cause  of  his  Avife's  eyes  getting  red  is  an  odious  crea- 
ture.    Come,  monseigneur,  come." 

"I  cannot;  for  I  have  directed  dinner  to  be  served  here." 

"Yet  see,  monseigneur,  how  dull  we  shall  be;  I  shall  be 
low-spirited  because  I  know  that  madame  will  be  alone; 
you,  hard  and  savage  as  you  wish  to  appear,  will  be  sighing 
all  the  while.     Take  me  with  you  to  madame's  dinner,  and 

TEN    YEARS   LATER.  223 

that  will  be  a  delightful  surprise.     I  am  sure  we  shall  be 
very  merry;  you  were  wrong  this  morning." 
"Well,  perhaps  I  was." 

"There  is  no  perhaps  at  all,  for  it  is  a  fact  you  were  so." 
"Chevalier,  chevalier,  your  advice  is  not  good." 
"Nay,  my  advice  is  good;  all  the  advantages  are  on  your 
own  side.     Your  violet-colored  suit,  embroidered  with  gold, 
becomes  you  admirably.     Madame  will   be   as   much   van- 
quished by  the  man  as  by  the  step.     Come,  monseigneur." 
"You  decide  me;  let  us  go." 

The  duke  left  his  room,  accompanied  by  the  chevalier, 
and  went  toward  madame's  apartments.  The  chevalier 
hastily  whispered  to  his  valet,  "Be  sure  that  there  are  some 
people  before  the  little  door,  so  that  no  one  can  escape  in 
that  direction.  Eun,  run!"  And  he  followed  the  duke 
toward  the  antechambers  of  madame's  suite  of  apartments, 
and  when  the  ushers  were  about  to  announce  them,  the 
chevalier  said,  laughing,  "His  highness  wishes  to  surprise 



Monsieur  entered  the  room  abruptly,  as  those  persons 
do  who  mean  well  and  think  they  confer  pleasure,  or  as 
those  who  hojse  to  surprise  some  secret,  the  melancholy  re- 
ward of  jealous  people.  Madame,  almost  out  of  her  senses 
at  the  first  bars  of  music,  Avas  dancing  in  the  most  unre- 
strained manner,  leaving  the  dinner,  which  had  been  already 
begun,  unfinished.  Her  partner  was  M.  de  Guiche,  who, 
with  his  arms  raised,  and  his  eyes  half-closed,  was  kneeling . 
on  one  knee,  like  the  Spanish  dancers,  with  looks  full  of 
passion,  and  gestures  of  the  most  caressing  character.  The 
princess  was  dancing  round  him  with  a  responsive  smile, 
and  the  same  air  of  alluring  seductiveness.  Montalais 
stood  by  admiringly;  La  Valliere,  seated  in  a  corner  of  the 
room,  looked  on  thoughtfully.  It  is  impossible  to  describe 
the  effect  which  the  presence  of  the  prince  produced  upon 
this  happy  company,  and  it  would  be  just  as  impossible  to 
describe  the  effect  which  the  sight  of  their  happiness  pro- 
duced upon  Philip.  The  Comte  de  Guiche  had  no  power 
to  move;  madame  remained  in  the  middle  of  one  of  the 
figures  and  of  an  attitude,  unable  to  utter  a  word.     The 

224  TEK    YEARS    LATER. 

Chevalier  de  Lorraine,  leaning  his  back  against  the  door- 
way, smiled  like  a  man  in  the  very  height  of  the  frankest 
admiration.  The  pallor  of  the  prince,  and  the  convulsive 
trembling  of  his  hands  and  limbs,  were  the  first  symptoms 
that  struck  those  present.  A  dead  silence  succeeded  the 
sound  of  the  dance.  The  Chevalier  de  Lorraine  took  ad- 
vantage of  this  interval  to  salute  madame  and  De  Guiche 
most  respectfully,  affecting  to  join  them  together  in  his 
reverences  as  though  they  were  the  master  and  mistress  of 
the  house.  Monsieur  then  approached  them,  saying,  in  a 
hoarse  tone  of  voice,  "I  am  delighted;  I  came  here  expect- 
ing to  find  you  ill  and  low-spirited;  and  I  find  you  abandon- 
ing yourself  to  new  amusements;  really,  it  is  most  for- 
tunate. My  house  is  the  merriest  in  the  whole  kingdom." 
Then  turning  toward  De  Guiche,  "Comte,"  he  said,  "I  did 
not  know  you  were  so  good  a  dancer,"  And,  again  address- 
ing his  wife,  he  said,  "Show  a  little  more  consideration  for 
me,  madame;  whenever  you  intend  to  amuse  yourselves 
here,  invite  me.  I  am  a  prince,  unfortunately,  very  much 

De  Guiche  had  now  recovered  his  self-possession,  and 
with  the  spirited  boldness  which  was  natural  to  him,  and 
which  so  well  became  him,  he  said,  "Your  highness  knov/s 
very  well  that  my  very  life  is  at  your  service,  and  whenever 
there  is  a  question  of  its  being  needed,  I  am  ready;  but  to- 
day, as  it  is  only  a  question  of  dancing  to  music,  I  dance." 

"And  you  are  perfectly  right,"  said  the  prince  coldly. 

"But,  madame,"  he  continued,  "you  do  not  remark  that 
your  ladies  deprive  me  of  my  friends;  Monsieur  de  Guiche 
does  not  belong  to  you,  madame,  but  to  me.  If  you  wish 
to  dine  without  me,  you  have  your  ladies.  When  I  dine 
alone  I  have  my  gentlemen;  do  not  strip  me  of  everything." 

Madame  felt  the  reproach  and  the  lesson,  and  the  color 
rushed  to  her  face.  "Monsieur,"  she  replied,  "I  was  not 
aware,  when  I  came  to  the  court  of  France,  that  princesses 
of  my  rank  were  to  be  regarded  as  the  women  in  Turkey 
are.  I  was  not  aware  that  we  were  not  allowed  to  be  seen; 
but  since  such  is  your  desire,  I  will  conform  myself  to  it; 
pray  do  not  hesitate,  if  you  should  wish  it,  to  have  my  win- 
dows barred,  even." 

This  repartee,  which  made  Montalais  and  De  Guiche 
smile,  rekindled  the  prince's  anger,  no  inconsiderable  por- 
tion of  which  had  already  evaporated  in  words. 

"Very  well,"  he  said,  in  a  concentrated  tone  of  voice, 
**this  is  the  way  in  which  I  am  respected  in  my  own  house." 

TEN    YEARS   LATER.  235 

"Monseigneur,  monseigneur,"  murmured  the  chevalier 
in  the  duke's  ear  in  such  a  manner  that  every  one  could 
observe  he  was  endeavoring  to  calm  him. 

"Come,"  replied  the  prince,  as  his  only  answer  to  the 
remark,  hurrying  him  av/ay,  and  turning  round  with  so 
hasty  a  movement  that  he  almost  ran  against  madame. 
The  chevalier  followed  him  to  his  own  apartment,  where 
the  prince  had  no  sooner  seated  himself  than  he  gave  free 
rein  to  his  fury.  The  chevalier  raised  his  eyes  toward  the 
ceiling,  joining  his  hands  together,  and  said  not  a  word. 

"Give  me  your  opinion,"  exclaimed  the  prince. 

"Upon  what?" 

"Upon  what  is  taking  place  here." 

"Oh,  monseigneur!  it  is  a  very  serious  matter." 

"It  is  abominablel     I  cannot  live  in  this  manner." 

"HoAV  unhappy  all  this  is,"  said  the  chevalier.  "We 
hoped  to  enjoy  tranquillity  after  that  madman,  Bucking- 
ham had  left." 

"And  this  is  worse." 

"I  do  not  say  that,  monseigneur." 

"Yes,  but  I  say  it,  for  Buckingham  would  never  have 
ventured  upon  a  fourth  part  of  what  we  have  just  now 

"What  do  you  mean?" 

"To  conceal  one's  self  for  the  purpose  of  dancing,  and  to 
feign  indisposition  in  order  to  dine  tete-a-tete." 

"No,  no,  monseigneur!" 

"Yes,  yes!"  exclaimed  the  prince,  exciting  himself  like  a 
self-willed  child;  "but  I  will  not  endure  it  any  longer;  I 
must  learn  what  is  really  going  on." 

"Oh,  monseigneur,  an  exposure " 

"By  Heaven!  monsieur,  am  I  to  put  myself  out  of  the 
way  when  people  show  so  little  consideration  for  me?  Wait 
for  vaQ  here,  chevalier,  wait  for  me  here."  The  prince  dis- 
appeared in  the  neighboring  apartment,  and  inquired  of  the 
gentlemen  in  attendance  if  the  queen-mother  had  returned 
from  the  chapel.  Anne  of  Austria  felt  that  her  happiness 
was  now  complete;  peace  restored  to  her  family,  a  nation 
delighted  Avith  the  presence  of  a  young  monarch,  who  had 
shown  an  aptitude  for  affairs  of  great  importance;  the 
revenues  of  the  state  increased;  external  peace  assured; 
everything  seemed  to  promise  a  tranquil  future  for  her. 
Her  thoughts  recurred,  now  and  then,  to  that  poor  young 
man  whom  she  had  received  as  a  mother,  and  had  driven 
away  as  a  liard-hearted  stepmother,  and  she  sighed  as  she 
thought  of  him. 


Suddenly  the  Due  d'Orleans  entered  her  room.  "Dear 
mother,"  he  exclaimed  hurriedly,  closing  the  door,  "things 
cannot  go  on  as  they  now  are." 

Anne  of  Austria  raised  her  beautiful  eyes  toward  him,  and 
with  an  unmoved  gentleness  of  manner  said:  "What  things 
do  you  allude  to?" 

"I  wish  to  speak  of  madame." 

"Your  wife?" 

"Yes,  madame." 

"I  suppose  that  silly  fellow  Buckingham  has  been  writ- 
ing a  farewell  letter  to  her." 

"Oh!  yes,  madame;  of  course,  it  is  a  question  of  Buck- 

"Of  whom  else  could  it  be,  then?  for  that  poor  fellow 
was,  wrongly  enough,  the  object  of  your  jealousy,  and  I 
thought " 

"My  wife,  madame,  has  already  replaced  the  Duke  of 

"Philip,  what  are  you  saying?  You  are  speaking  very 

"No,  no.  Madame  has  so  managed  matters  that  I  am 
still  jealous." 

"Of  whom,  in  Heaven's  name?" 

"Is  it  possible  you  have  not  remarked  it?  Have  you  not 
noticed  that  Monsieur  de  Guiche  is  always  in  her  apart- 
ments— always  with  her?" 

The  queen  clapped  her  hands  together,  and  began  to 
laugh.  "Philip,"  she  said,  "your  jealousy  is  not'  merely  a 
defect,  it  is  a  positive  disease." 

"Whether  a  defect  or  a  disease,  madame,  I  am  the  suf- 
ferer from  it." 

"And  do  you  imagine  that  a  complaint  which  exists  only 
in  your  own  imagination  can  be  cured?  You  wish  it  to  be 
said  you  are  right  in  being  jealous,  when  there  is  no  ground 
whatever  for  your  jealousy." 

"Of  course,  you  will  begin  to  say  for  this  one  what  you 
already  said  on  behalf  of  the  other." 

"Because,  Philip,"  said  the  queen  dryly,  "what  you  did 
for  the  other,  you  are  going  to  do  for  this  one." 

The  prince  bowed,  slightly  annoyed.  "If  I  were  to  give 
you  facts,"  he  said,  "would  you  believe  me?" 

"If  it  regarded  anything  else  but  jealousy  I  would  be- 
lieve you  without  your  bringing  facts  forward;  but  as 
jealousy  is  in  the  case,  I  promise  nothing." 

"It  is  just  the  same  as  if  your  majesty  were  to  desire  me 
to  hold  my  tongue,  and  sent  me  away  unheard." 

TEN    TEARS    LATER.  227 

*'Far  from  it;  as  you  are  my  son,  I  owe  yoii  a  mother's 

"Oh,  say  what  you  think;  you  owe  me  as  much  indul- 
gence as  a  madman  deserves." 

"Do  not  exaggerate,  Philip,  and  take  care  how  you 
represent  your  wife  to  me  as  a  woman  of  a  depraved 
mind " 

"But  facts,  mother,  facts!" 

"Well,  I  am  listening." 

"This  morning,  at  ten  o'clock,  they  were  playing  music 
in  madame's  apartments." 

"No  harm  in  that,  surely." 

"Monsieur  de  Guiche  was  talking  with  her  alone —  Ah! 
I  forgot  to  tell  you  that  during  the  last  ten  days  he  has 
never  left  her  side." 

"If  they  were  doing  any  harm  they  would  hide  them- 

"Very  good,"  exclaimed  the  duke.  "I  expected  you  to 
say  that.  Pray  do  not  forget  what  you  have  just  said. 
This  morning  I  took  them  by  surprise,  and  showed  my  dis- 
satisfaction in  a  very  marked  manner." 

"Eely  upon  it,  that  is  quite  sufficient;  it  was,  perhaps, 
even  a  little  too  much.  These  young  women  easily  take 
offense.  To  reproach  them  for  an  error  they  have  not  com- 
mitted is,  sometimes,  almost  the  same  as  telling  them  they 
might  do  it." 

"Very  good,  very  good;  but  wait  a  minute.  Do  not  for- 
get what  you  have  Just  this  minute  said,  that  this  morning's 
lesson  ought  to  have  been  sufficient,  and  that  if  they  had 
been  doing  what  was  wrong  they  would  have  concealed 

"Yes,  I  said  so." 

"Well,  just  now,  repenting  of  my  hastiness  of  this  morn- 
ing, and  knowing  that  De  Guiche  was  sulking  in  his  own 
apartments,  I  went  to  pay  madame  a  visit.  Can  you  guess 
what,  or  whom,  I  found  there?  Another  set  of  musicians; 
more  dancing,  and  De  Guiche  himself — he  was  concealed 

Anne  of  Austria  frowned.  "It  was  imprudent,"  she  said. 
"What  did  madame  say?" 


"And  De  Guiche?" 

"As  much — oh,  no!  he  muttered  some  impertinent  re- 
mark or  another." 

"Well,  what  is  your  opinion,  Philip?" 

Ji28  TEN   YEAES    LATER. 

"That  I  have  been  made  a  fool  of;  that  Buckingham  was 
only  a  pretext,  and  that  De  Guiche  is  the  one  who  is  really 

Anne  shrugged  her  shoulders.  "Well,"  she  said,  "what 

"I  wish  De  Guiche  to  be  dismissed  from  my  household, 
as  Buckingham  was,  and  I  shall  ask  the  king,  unless " 

"Unless  what?" 

"Unless  you,  my  dear  mother,  who  are  so  clever  and  so 
kind,  will  execute  the  commission  yourself." 

"I  shall  not  do  it,  Philip." 

"What!  madame?" 

"Listen,  Philip:  I  am  not  disposed  to  pay  people  ill  com- 
pliments every  day;  I  have  some  influence  over  young  peo- 
ple, but  I  cannot  take  advantage  of  it  without  running  the 
chance  of  losing  it  altogether.  Besides,  there  is  nothing  to 
prove  that  Monsieur  de  Guiche  is  guilty." 

"He  has  displeased  me." 

"That  is  your  own  affair." 

"Very  well,  I  know  what  I  shall  do,"  said  the  prince 

Anne  looked  at  him  with  some  uneasiness.  "What  do 
you  intend  to  do?"  she  said. 

"I  will  have  him  drowned  in  my  reservoir  the  next  time  I 
find  him  in  my  apartments  again."  Having  launched  this 
terrible  threat,  the  prince  expected  his  mother  would  be 
frightened  out  of  her  senses;  but  the  queen  was  unmoved 
by  it. 

"Do  so,"  she  said. 

Philip  was  as  weak  as  a  woman)  and  began  to  cry  out: 
"Every  one  betrays  me — no  one  cares  for  me;  my  mother 
even  joins  my  enemies." 

"Your  mother,  Philip,  sees  further  in  the  matter  than 
you  do,  and  does  not  care  about  advising  you,  since  you  do 
not  listen  to  her." 

"I  will  go  to  the  king." 

"I  was  about  to  propose  that  to  you.  I  am  now  expecting 
his  majesty;  it  is  the  hour  he  usually  pays  me  a  visit;  ex- 
plain the  matter  to  him  yourself." 

She  had  hardly  finished,  when  Philip  heard  the  door  of 
the  anteroom  open  with  some  noise.  He  began  to  feel 
nervous.  At  the  sound  of  the  king's  footsteps,  which  could 
be  heard  upon  the  carpet,  the  duke  hurriedly  made  his 
escape  out  of  the  room.  Anne  of  Austria  could  not  resist 
laughing,  and  was  laughing  still  when  the  king  entered. 

TEN   YEARS   LATER.  229 

He  came  very  affectionately  to  inquire  after  the  even  now 
uncertain  health  of  the  queen-mother,  and  to  announce  to 
her  that  the  preparations  for  the  journey  to  Fontainebleau 
were  complete.  Seeing  her  laugh,  his  uneasiness  on  her 
account  diminished,  and  he  addressed  her  in  a  laughing 
tone  himself.  Anne  of  Austria  took  him  by  the  hand,  and, 
in  a  voice  full  of  playfulness,  said,  "Do  you  know,  sire, 
that  I  am  proud  of  being  a  Spanish  woman?" 

"Why,  madame?" 

"Because  Spanish  women  are  worth  more  than  English 
women,  at  least." 

"Explain  yourself." 

"Since  your  marriage  ypu  have  not,  I  believe,  had  a 
single  reproach  to  make  against  the  queen." 

"Certainly  not." 

"And  you,  too,  have  been  married  some  time.  Your 
brother,  on  the  contrary,  has  been  married  only  a  fortnight." 


"He  is  now  finding  fault  with  madame  a  second  time." 

"What,  Buckingham  still?" 

"No,  another." 


"De  Guiche." 

"Keally,  madame  is  a  coquette,  then." 

"I  fear  so." 

"My  poor  brother,"  said  the  king,  laughing. 

"You  don't  mind  coquetting,  it  seems?" 

"In  madame,  certainly  I  do;  but  madame  is  not  a 
coquette  at  heart." 

"That  may  be,  but  your  brother  is  excessively  angry 
about  it." 

"What  does  he  want?" 

"He  wishes  to  drown  De  Guiche." 

"That  is  a  violent  measure  to  resort  to." 

"Do  not  laugh;  he  is  extremely  irritated.  Think  of  what 
can  be  done." 

"To  save  De  Guiche — certainly." 

"Oh,  if  your  brother  heard  you,  he  would  conspire  against 
you  as  your  uncle  Monsieur  did  against  your  father." 

"No;  Philip  has  too  much  affection  for  me  for  that,  and 
I,  on  my  side,  have  too  great  a  regard  for  him;  we  shall  live 
together  on  very  good  terms.  But  what  is  the  substance  of 
his  request?" 

"That  you  will  prevent  madame  from  being  a  coquette, 
and  De  Guiche  from  being  amiable." 

230  TEN    YEARS   LATEE. 

"Is  that  all?  My  brother  has  an  exalted  idea  of  sover- 
eign power.  To  reform  a  woman,  not  to  say  a  word  about 
reforming  a  man." 

"How  will  you  set  about  it?" 

"With  a  word  to  De  Guiche,  who  is  a  clever  fellow,  I  will 
undertake  to  convince  him." 

"But  madame?" 

"That  is  more  difficult;  a  word  will  not  be  enough.  I 
will  compose  a  homily  and  read  it  to  her." 

"There  is  no  time  to  lose." 

"Oh,  I  will  use  the  utmost  diligence.  There  is  a  repeti- 
tion of  the  ballet  this  afternoon." 

"You  will  read  her  a  lecture  while  you  are  dancing?" 

"Yes,  madame." 

"You  promise  to  convert  her?" 

"I  will  root  out  the  heresy  altogether,  either  by  convinc- 
ing her,  or  by  extreme  measures." 

"That  is  all  right,  then.  Do  not  mix  me  up  in  the  affair; 
madame  would  never  forgive  me  in  her  life,  and,  as  a 
mother-in-law,  I  ought  to  try  and  live  on  good  terms  with 
my  daughter-in-law." 

"The  king,  madame,  will  take  all  upon  himself.  But  let 
me  reflect." 

"What  about?" 

"It  would  be  better,  perhaps,  if  I  were  to  go  and  see 
madame  in  her  own  apartment." 

"Would  that  not  seem  a  somewhat  seribus  step  to  take?" 

"Yes;  but  seriousness  is  not  unbecoming  in  preachers, 
and  the  music  of  the  ballet  would  drown  one-half  of  my 
arguments.  Besides,  the  object  is  to  prevent  any  violent 
measures  on  my  brother's  part,  so  that  a  little  precipitation 
may  be  advisable.     Is  madame  in  her  own  apartment?" 

"I  believe  so." 

"What  is  my  statement  of  grievances  to  consist  of?" 

"In  a  few  words,  of  the  following:  music  uninterruptedly; 
De  Gruiche's  assiduity;  suspicions  of  treasonable  plots  and 

"And  the  proofs?" 

"There  are  none." 

"Very  well;  I  shall  go  at  once  to  see  madame."  The 
king  turned  to  look  in  the  mirrors  at  his  costume,  which 
was  very  rich,  and  his  face,  which  was  as  radiant  and  spark- 
ling as  diamonds.  "I  suppose  my  brother  is  kept  a  little  at 
a  distance,"  said  the  king. 

"Fire  and  .water  cannot  possibly  be  more  opposite." 

TEN"    YEARS    LATER.  231 

"That  will  do.     Permit  me,  madame,  to  kiss  your  hands, 

the  most  beautiful  hands  in  France." 

"May  you  be  successful,  sire,  be  the  family  peacemaker." 
"I  do  not  employ  an  ambassador,"  said  Louis;  "which  is 

as  much  as  to  say  that  I  shall  succeed."     He  laughed  as  he 

left  the  room,  and  carefully  dusted  his  dress  as  he  went 




When  the  king  made  his  appearance  in  madame's  apart- 
ments the  courtiers,  whom  the  news  of  a  conjugal  misun- 
derstanding had  dispersed  in  the  various  apartments,  began 
to  entertain  the  most  serious  apprehensions.  A  storm,  too, 
was  brewing  in  that  direction,  the  elements  of  which  the 
Chevalier  de  Lorraine,  in  the  midst  of  the  different  groups, 
was  analyzing  with  delight,  contributing  to  the  weaker, 
and  acting,  according  to  his  own  wicked  designs,  in  such  a 
manner  with  regard  to  the  stronger,  as  to  produce  the  most 
disastrous  consequences  possible.  As  Anne  of  Austria  had 
herself  said,  the  presence  of  the  king  gave  a  solemn  and 
serious  character  to  the  event.  Indeed,  in  the  year  1662, 
the  dissatisfaction  of  Monsieur  with  madame,  and  the  king's 
intervention  in  the  private  affairs  of  Monsieur,  was  a  mat- 
ter of  no  inconsiderable  moment. 

The  boldest,  even,  Avho  had  been  the  associates  of  the 
Comte  de  Guiche,  had,  from  the  first  moment,  held  aloof 
from  him,  with  a  sort  of  nervous  apprehension;  and  the 
comte  himself,  infected  by  the  general  panic,  retired  to  his 
own  apartments  alone.  The  king  entered  madame's  private 
apartments,  acknowledging  and  returning  the  salutations, 
as  he  was  always  in  the  habit  of  doing.  The  ladies  of  honor 
were  ranged  in  a  line  on  his  passage  along  the  gallery.  Al- 
though his  majesty  was  very  much  preoccupied,  he  gave  the 
glance  of  a  master  at  the  two  rows  of  young  and  beautiful 
girls,  who  modestly  cast  down  their  eyes,  blushing  as  they 
felt  the  king's  gaze  upon  them.  One  only  of  the  number, 
whose  long  hair  fell  in  silken  masses  upon  the  most  beauti- 
ful skin  imaginable,  was  pale,  and  could  hardly  sustain  her- 
self, notwithstanding  the  knocks  which  her  companion  gave 
her  with  her  elbow.  It  was  La  Valliere,  whom  Montalais 
supported  in  that   manner,  by   whispering   some   of   that 

232  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

courage  to  her  with  which  she  herself  was  so  abundantly 
provided.  The  king  could  not  resist  turning  round  to  look 
at  them  again.  Their  faces,  which  had  already  been  raised, 
were  again  lowered,  but  the  only  fair  head  among  them 
remained  motionless,  as  if  all  the  strength  and  intelligence 
she  had  left  had  abandoned  her.  When  he  entered  ma- 
dame's  room  Louis  found  his  sister-in-law  reclining  upon 
the  cushions  of  her  cabinet.  She  rose  and  made  a  profound 
reverence,  murmuring  some  words  of  tliP.nks  for  the  honor 
she  was  receiving.  She  then  resumed  her  seat,  overcome 
by  a  sudden  weakness,  which  was  no  doubt  assumed,  for  a 
delightful  color  animated  her  cheeks,  and  her  eyes,  still  red 
from  the  tears  she  had  recently  shed,  never  had  more  fire 
in  them.  When  the  king  was  seated,  and  as  soon  as  he  had 
remarked,  with  that  accuracy  of  observation  which  charac- 
terized him,  the  disorder  of  the  apartment,  and  the  no  less 
great  disorder  of  madame's  countenance,  he  assumed  a  play- 
ful manner,  saying,  "My  dear  sister,  at  what  hour  to-day 
would  you  wish  the  repetition  of  the  ballet  to  take  place?" 

Madame,  shaking  her  charming  head,  slowly  and  languish- 
ingly  said:  "Ah!  sire,  will  you  graciously  excuse  my  ap- 
pearance at  the  repetition;  I  was  about  to  send  to  inform 
your  majesty  that  I  could  not  attend  to-day." 

"Indeed,"  said  the  king,  in  apparent  surprise;  "are  you 
not  well?" 

"No,  sire." 

"1  will  summon  your  medical  attendants,  then." 

"No;  for  they  can  do  nothing  for  my  indisposition." 

"You  alarm  me." 

"Sire,  I  wish  to  ask  your  majesty's  permission  to  return 
to  England." 

The  king  started.  "Eeturn  to  England,"  he  said;  "do 
you  really  say  what  you  mean?" 

"I  say  it  reluctantly,  sire,". replied  the  granddaughter  of 
Henry  IV.  firmly,  her  beautiful  black  eyes  flashing.  "I 
regret  to  have  to  confide  such  matters  to  your  majesty,  but 
I  feel  myself  too  unhappy  at  your  majesty's  court;  and  I 
wish  to  return  to  my  own  family." 

"Madame,  madame,"  exclaimed  the  king,  as  he  ap- 
proached her. 

"Listen  to  me,  sire,"  continued  the  young  woman,  ac- 
quiring by  degrees  that  ascendency  over  her  interrogator 
which  her  beauty  and  her  nervous  nature  conferred;  "young 
as  I  am,  I  have  already  suifered  humiliation,  and  have 
endured  disdain  here.  Oh!  do  not  contradict  me,  sire,-" 
she  said,  with  a  smile.     The  king  colored. 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  233 

"Then,"  she  continued,  "1  have  reasoned  myself  into 
the  belief  that  Heaven  had  called  me  into  existence  with 
that  object,  I,  the  daughter  of  a  powerful  monarch;  that 
since  my  father  had  been  deprived  of  life,  Heaven  could 
well  smite  my  pride.  I  have  suifered  greatly;  I  have  been 
the  cause  too,  of  my  mother  suffering  much;  but  I  have 
sworn  that  if  Providence  had  ever  placed  me  in  a  position 
of  independence,  even  were  it  that  of  a  workwoman  of  the 
lower  classes,  who  gains  her  bread  by  her  labor,  I  would 
never  suffer  humiliation  again.  That  day  has  now  arrived;  I 
have  been  restored  to  the  fortune  due  to  my  rank  and  to 
my  birth;  I  have  even  ascended  again  the  steps  of  a  throne, 
and  I  thought  that,  in  allying  myself  with  a  French  prince, 
I  should  find  in  him  a  relation,  a  friend,  an  equal;  but  I 
perceive  I  have  found  only  a  master,  and  I  rebel.  My 
mother  shall  know  nothing  of  it;  you  whom  I  respect, 
whom  I — love — "  The  king  started;  never  had  any  voice 
so  gratified  his  ear. 

"You,  sire,  who  know  all,  since  you  have  come  here,  you 
will,  perhaps,  understand  me.  If  you  had  not  come,  I 
should  have  gone  to  you.  I  wish  for  permission  to  pass 
freely.  I  leave  it  to  your  delicacy  of  feeling  to  exculpate 
and  to  protect  me." 

"My  dear  sister,"  murmured  the  king,  overpowered  by 
this  bold  attack,  "have  you  reflected  upon  the  enormous 
difficulty  of  the  project  you  have  conceived?" 

"Sire,  I  do  not  reflect,  I  feel.  Attacked,  I  instinctively 
repel  the  attack,  nothing  more." 

"Come,  tell  me  what  have  they  done  to  you?"  said  the 

The  princess,  it  will  have  been  seen,  by  this  peculiarly 
feminine  maneuver,  had  escaped  every  reproach,  and  ad- 
vanced on  her  side  a  far  more  serious  one;  from  an  accused 
she  became  the  accuser.  It  is  an  infallible  sign  of  guilt; 
but  notwithstanding  that,  all  women,  even  the  least  clever 
of  the  sex,  invariably  know  how  to  derive  some  means  of 
attaining  success.  The  king  had  forgotten  that  he  had 
paid  her  a  visit  in  order  to  say  to  her,  "What  have  you 
done  to  my  brother?"  and  that  he  was  reduced  to  saying 
to  her,  "What  have  they  done  to  you?" 

"What  have  they  done  to  me?"  replied  madame,  "one 
must  be  a  woman  to  understand  it,  sire — they  have  made 
me  weep;"  and  with  one  of  her  fingers,  whose  slenderness 
and  perfect  whiteness  were  unequaled,  she  pointed  to  her 
brilliant  eyes  swimming  in  tears,  and  again  began  to  weep. 


'*I  implore  you,  my  dear  sister,"  said  the  king,  advanc- 
ing to  take  her  warm  and  throbbing  hand,  which  she  aban- 
doned to  him. 

"In  the  first  place,  sire,  I  was  deprived  of  the  presence 
of  my  brother's  friend.  The  Duke  of  Buckingham  Avas  an 
agreeable,  cheerful  visitor;  my  own  countryman,  who  knew 
my  habits;  I  will  say,  almost  a  companion,  so  accustomed 
had  he  been  to  pass^  our  days  together,  with  our  other 
friends  upon  the  beautiful  piece  of  water  at  St.  James'." 

"But  Villiers  was  in  love  with  you?" 

"A  pretext!  What  does  it  matter,"  she  said  seriously, 
"whether  the  duke  was  in  love  with  me  or  not?  Is  a  man 
in  love  so  very  dangerous  for  me?  Ah!  sire,  it  is  not 
sufficient  for  a  man  to  love  a  woman."  And  she  smiled  so 
tenderly,  and  with  so  much  archness,  that  the  king  felt  his 
heart  beat  and  throb  within  his  breast. 

"At  all  events,  if  my  brother  were  jealous?"  interrupted 
the  king. 

"Very  well,  I  admit  that  is  a  reason;  and  the  duke  was 
sent  away  accordingly." 

"No,  not  sent  away." 

"Driven  away,  expelled,  dismissed,  then,  if  you  prefer  it, 
sire.  One  of  the  first  gentlemen  of  Europe  was  obliged  to 
leave  the  court  of  the  King  of  France,  of  Louis  XIV.,  like 
a  beggar,  on  account  of  a  glance  or  a  bouquet.  It  was 
little  worthy  of  the  most  gallant  court;  but  forgive  me, 
sire;  I  forgot  that,  in  speaking  thus,  I  am  attacking  your 
sovereign  power." 

"I  assure  you,  my  dear  sister,  it  was  not  I  who  dismissed 
the  Duke  of  Buckingham;  I  was  very  charmed  with  him." 

"It  was  not  you?"  said  madame;  "ah!  so  mucli  the  bet- 
ter;" and  she  emphasized  the  "so  much  the  better,"  as  if 
she  had  instead  said,  "so  much  the  worse." 

A  few  minutes'  silence  ensued.  She  then  resumed:  "The 
Duke  of  Buckingham  having  left,  I  now  know  why  and  by 
whose  means,  I  thought  I  should  have  recovered  my 
tranquillity;  but  not  at  all,  for  all  at  once  Monsieur  finds 
another  pretext;  all  at  once " 

"All  at  once,"  said  the  king  playfully,  "some  one  else 
presents  himself.  It  is  but  natural;  you  are  beautiful,  and 
will  always  meet  with  those  who  will  love  you." 

"In  that  case,"  exclaimed  the  princess,  "I  shall  create  a 
solitude  around  me,  which  indeed  seems  to  be  what  is 
wished,  and  what  is  being  prepared  for  me;  but  no,  I  pre- 
fer to  return  to  Loudon.     There  I  am  known  and  appre- 

TEN   TEAKS    LATEK.  335 

ciated.  I  shall  have  friends,  without  fearing  they  may  be 
regarded  as  my  lovers.  Shame!  it  is  a  disgraceful  suspicion, 
and  unworthy  a  gentleman.  Monsieur  has  lost  everything 
in  my  estimation,  since  he  has  shown  me  he  can  be  the 
tyrant  of  a  woman." 

"Nay,  nay;  my  brother's  only  fault  is  that  of  loving  you." 

"Love  me!  Monsieur  love  me!  Ah!  sire,"  and  she  burst 
out  laughing.  "Monsieur  will  never  love  any  woman,"  she 
said;  "Monsieur  loves  himself  too  much;  no,  unhappily  for 
me.  Monsieur's  jealousy  is  of  the  worst  kind — he  is  jealous 
without  love." 

"Confess,  however,"  said  the  king,  who  began  to  be  ex- 
cited by  this  varied  and  animated  conversation,  "confess 
that  De  Guiche  loves  you." 

"Ah!  sire,  1  know  nothing  about  that." 

"You  must  have  perceived  it.  A  man  who  loves  readily 
betrays  himself." 

"Monsieur  de  Guiche  has  not  betrayed  himself." 

"My  dear  sister,  yoi  are  defending  Monsieur  de  Guiche." 

"I,  indeed !  Ah,  sire,  I  only  needed  a  susiDicion  from  your- 
self to  complete  my  wretchedness." 

"No,  madame,  no,"  returned  the  king  hurriedly;  "do 
not  distress  yourself.  Nay,  you  are  weeping.  I  implore 
you  to  calm  yourself." 

She  wept,  however,  and  large  tears  fell  upon  her  hands; 
the  king  took  one  of  her  hands  in  his,  and  kissed  the  tears 
away.  She  looked  at  him  so  sadly  and  with  so  much  ten- 
derness that  he  felt  his  heart  throb  under  her  gaze. 

"You  have  no  kind  of  feeling,  then,  for  De  Guiche?"  he 
said,  more  disturbed  than  became  his  character  of  mediator. 

"None — absolutely  none." 

"Then  I  can  reassure  my  brother  in  that  respect?" 

"Nothing  will  satisfy  him,  sire.  Do  not  believe  he  is 
jealous.  Monsieur  has  been  badly  advised  by  some  one,  and 
he  is  of  an  anxious  disposition." 

"He  may  well  be  so  when  you  are  concerned,"  said  the 

Madame  cast  down  her  eyes,  and  was  silent;  the  king  did 
so  likewise,  still  holding  her  hand  all  the  while.  His 
momentary  silence  seemed  to  last  an  age.  Madame  gently 
withdrew  her  hand,  and  from  that  moment  she  felt  her 
triumph  was  certain,  and  the  field  of  battle  was  her  own. 

"Monsieur  complains,"  said  the  king,  "that  you  prefer 
the  society  of  private  individuals  to  his  own  conversation 
and  society." 


"But  Monsieur  passes  his  life  in  looking  at  his  face  in  the 
glass,  and  in  plotting  all  sorts  of  spiteful  things  against  wo- 
men with  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine." 

"Oh,  you  are  going  somewhat  too  far." 

"I  only  say  what  is  the  fact.  Do  you  observe  for  your- 
self, sire,  and  you  will  see  that  I  am  right." 

"I  will  observe;  but  in  the  meantime,  what  satisfaction 
can  I  give  my  brother?" 

"My  departure." 

"You  repeat  that  word,"  exclaimed  the  king  imprudently, 
"as  if,  during  the  last  ten  minutes,  such  a  change  had  been 
produced  that  madame  would  have  had  all  her  ideas  on  the 
subject  thoroughly  changed." 

"Sire,  I  cannot  be  happy  here  any  longer,"  she  said. 
"Monsieur  de  Guiehe  annoys  Monsieur.  Will  h§  be  sent  away, 

"If  it  be  necessary,  why  not?"  replied  the  king,  smiling. 

"Well;  and  after  Monsieur  de  Guiehe — whom,  by  the  bye, 
I  shall  regret — I  warn  you,  sire." 

"Ah,  you  will  regret  him?" 

"Certainly;  he  is  amiable;  he  has  a  great  friendship  for 
me,  and  he  amuses  me." 

"If  Monsieur  were  only  to  hear  you,"  said  thd  king,  slightly 
annoyed,  "do  you  know  I  would  not  undertake  to  make  it  up 
again  between  you;  nay,  I  would  not  even  attempt  it." 

"Sire,  can  you,  even  now,  prevent  ]\Ionsieur  from  being 
jealous  of  the  first  person  who  may  approach  ?  I  know  very 
well  that  Monsieur  de  Guiehe  is  not  the  first." 

"Again:  I  warn  you  that  as  a  good  brother  I  shall  take  a 
dislike  to  De  Guiehe." 

"Ah,  sire,  do  not,  I  entreat  you,  adopt  either  the  sym- 
pathies or  the  dislikes  of  Monsieur.  Eemain  the  king;  far 
better  for  yourself  and  for  every  one  else." 

"You  jest  most  charmingly,  madame;  and  I  can  well  un- 
derstand how  those  whom  you  attack  must  adore  you." 

"And  is  that  the  reason  why  you,  sire,  whom  I  had  re- 
garded as  my  defender,  are  about  to  join  those  who  perse- 
cute me?"  said  madame. 

"I  your  persecutor !     Heaven  forbid  !" 

"Then,"  she  continued,  languishingly,  "grant  me  a  favor." 

"Whatever  you  wish." 

"Let  me  return  to  England." 

"Never,  never!"  exclaimed  Louis  XIV. 

TEN"   YEARS   LATER.  237 

"I  am  a  prisoner,  then?" 

"In  France,  yes." 

**What  must  I  do,  then?" 

"i  will  tell  you  Instead  of  devoting  yourself  to  friend- 
ships which  are  somewhat  unsuitable,  instead  of  alarming 
us  by  your  retirement,  remain  always  in  our  society,  do  not 
leave  us,  let  us  live  as  a  united  family.  Monsieur  de 
Guiche  is  certainly  very  amiable;  but  if,  at  least,  we  do  not 
possess  his  wit " 

*'Ah,  sire,  you  know  very  well  that  you  are  pretending 
to  be  modest." 

"No,  I  swear  to  you.  One  may  be  a  king,  and  yet  feel 
that  he  possesses  fewer  chances  of  pleasing  than  many  other 

"I  am  sure,  sire,  that  you  do  not  believe  a  single  word 
you  are  saying." 

The  king  looked  at  madame  tenderly,  and  said,  "Will 
you  promise  me  one  thing?" 

"What  is  it?" 

"That  you  will  no  longer  waste  upon  strangers,  in  your 
own  apartments,  the  time  which  you  owe  us.  Shall  we 
make  an  offensive  and  defensive  alliance  against  the  com- 
mon enemy?" 

"An  alliance  with  you,  sire?" 

"Why  not?    Are  you  not  a  sovereign  power?" 

"But  are  you,  sire,  a  very  faithful  ally?" 

"You  shall  see,  madame." 

"And  when  shall  this  alliance  commence?" 

"This  very  day." 

"I  will  draw  up  the  treaty,  and  you  shall  sign  it." 


"Then,  sire,  I  promise  you  wonders;  you  are  the  star  of 
the  court,  and  when  you  make  your  appearance  everything 
will  be  resplendent." 

"Oh,  madame,  madame,"  said  Louis  XIV.,  "you  know 
well  that  there  is  no  brilliancy  which  does  not  proceed  from 
yourself,  and  that  if  I  assume  the  sun  as  my  device,  it  is 
only  an  emblem." 

"Sire,  you  flatter  your  ally,  and  you  wish  to  deceive  her," 
said  madame,  threatening  the  king  with  her  finger  raised 

"What!  you  believe  I  am  deceiving  you,  when  I  assure 
you  of  my  affection?" 


"What  makes  you  so  suspicious?'* 

238  TEN   YEARS    LATER. 

"One  thing." 

"What  is  it?  I  shall  indeed  be  unhappy  if  I  do  cot  over- 
come it." 

"That  one  thing  in  question,  sire,  is  not  in  jour  power, 
not  even  in  the  power  of  Heaven." 

"Tell  me  what  it  is." 

"The  past." 

"I  do  not  understand,  madame,"  said  the  king,  precisely 
because  he  had  understood  her  but  too  well. 

The  princess  took  his  hand  in  hers.  "Sire,"  she  said,  "I 
have  had  the  misfortune  to  displease  you  for  so  long  a 
period  that  I  have  almost  the  right  to  ask  myself  to-day 
why  you  were  able  to  accept  me  as  a  sister-in-law." 

"Displease  me!     You  have  displeased  me?" 

"Nay,  do  not  deny  it,  for  I  remember  it  well." 

"Our  alliance  shall  date  from  to-day,"  exclaimed  the 
king,  with  a  warmth  that  was  not  assumed.  "You  will 
not  think  any  more  of  the  past,  will  you  ?  I  myself  am 
resolved  that  I  will  not.  I  shall  always  remember  the 
present;  I  have  it  before  my  eyes;  look."  And  he  led  the 
princess  before  a  mirror,  in  which  she  saw  herself  reflected, 
blushing  and  beautiful  enough  to  overcome  a  saint. 

"It  is  all  the  same,"  she  murmured;  "it  will  not  be  a 
very  worthy  alliance." 

"Must  I  swear?"  inquired  the  king,  intoxicated  by  the 
voluptuous  turn  the  whole  conversation  had  taken. 

"Oh,  I  do  not  refuse  a  good  oath,"  said  madame;  "it 
has  always  the  semblance  of  security." 

The  king  knelt  upon  a  footstool  and  took  hold  of  ma- 
dame's  hand.  She,  with  a  smile  that  a  painter  could  not 
succeed  in  depicting,  and  which  a  poet  only  could  imagine, 
gave  him  both  her  hands,  in  which  he  hid  his  burning  face. 
Neither  of  them  could  utter  a  syllable.  The  king  felt 
madame  withdraw  her  hands,  caressing  his  face  while  she 
did  so.  He  rose  immediately  and  left  the  apartment.  The 
courtiers  remarked  his  heightened  color,  and  concluded 
that  the  scene  had  been  a  stormy  one.  The  Chevalier  de 
Lorraine,  however,  hastened  to  say,  "Nay,  be  comforted, 
gentlemen,  his  majesty  is  always  pale  when  he  is  angry." 

TEN    YEARS   LATER.  239 



The  king  left  madame  in  a  state  of  agitation  which  it 
■would  have  been  difficult  even  for  himself  to  have  explained. 
It  is  impossible,  in  fact,  to  explain  the  secret  play  of  those 
strange  sympathies,  which  suddenly,  and  apparently  with- 
out any  cause,  are  excited,  after  many  years  passed  in  the 
greatest  calmness  and  indifference,  by  two  hearts  destined 
to  love  each  other.  Why  had  Louis  formerly  disdained, 
almost  hated,  madame?  Why  did  he  nov/  find  the  same 
woman  so  beautiful,  so  captivating?  And  why,  not  only 
were  his  thoughts  occupied  about  her,  but  still  more,  why 
were  they  so  occupied  about  her?  Why,  in  fact,  had  ma- 
dame, whose  eyes  and  mind  were  sought  for  in  another 
direction,  shown  during  the  last  week  toward  the  king  a 
semblance  of  favor  which  encouraged  the  belief  of  still 
greater  regard.  It  must  not  be  suppos  d  that  Louis  pro- 
posed to  himself  any  plan  of  seduction;  the  tie  which 
united  madame  to  his  brother  was,  or  at  least  seemed,  for 
him  an  insuperable  barrier;  he  was  even  too  far  removed 
from  that  barrier  to  perceive  its  existence.  But  on  the 
downward  path  of  those  passions  in  which  the  heart  rejoices, 
toward  which  youth  impels  us,  no  one  can  decide  where 
to  stop,  not  even  he  who  has  in  advance  calculated  all  the 
chances  of  his  own  success  or  of  another's  submission.  As 
far  as  madame  was  concerned,  her  regard  for  the  king  may 
easily  be  explained:  she  was  young,  a  coquette,  and  ardently 
fond  of  admiration.  Hcr^  was  one  of  those  buoyant,  im- 
petuous natures,  which  upon  a  theater  would  leap  over  the 
greatest  obstacles  to  obtain  an  acknowledgment  of  applause 
from  the  spectators.  I';  was  not  surprising,  then,  that 
after  having  been  adored  by  Buckingham,  by  De  Guiche, 
who  was  superior  to  BuclringL  ^m,  even  if  it  were  only  from 
that  great  merit,  so  much  appreciated  by  woman,  that  is  to 
say,  novelty — it  was  not  surprising,  we  say,  that  the  prin- 
cess should  rai.  e  her  ambition  to  being  admired  by  the 
king,  who  not  only  was  the  first  person  in  the  kingdom,  but 
was  one  of  the  handsomest  and  wittiest  men  in  it.  As  for 
the  sudden  passion  with  which  Louis  was  inspired  for  his 
sister-in-law,  physiology  would  perhaps  supply  the  explana- 
tion of  it  by  some  hackneyed  commonplace  reasons,  and 
nature  from  some  of  her  mysterious  affinity  of  characters. 
Madame  had  the  most  beautiful  black  eyes  in  the  world; 

240  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

Louis,  eyes  as  beautiful,  but  blue.  Madame  was  laughter- 
loving  aud  unreserved  in  her  manners;  Louis,  melancholy 
and  diffident.  Summoned  to  meet  each  other,  for  the  first 
time,  upon  the  grounds  of  interest  and  common  curiosity, 
these  two  opposite  natures  were  mutually  influenced  by  the 
contact  of  their  reciprocal  contradictions  of  character. 
Louis,  when  he  returned  to  his  own  rooms,  acknowledged 
to  himself  that  madame  was  the  most  attractive  woman  of 
his  court.  Madame,  left  alone,  delightedly  thought  that 
she  had  made  a  great  impression  on  the  king.  This  feeling 
with  her  must  remain  passive,  while  the  king  could  not  but 
act  with  all  the  natural  vehemence  of  the  heated  fancies  of 
a  young  man,  and  of  a  young  man  who  has  but  to  express 
a  wish  to  see  his  wishes  executed. 

The  first  thing  the  king  did  was  to  announce  to  Mon- 
sieur that  everything  was  quietly  arranged;  that  madame 
had  the  greatest  respect,  the  sincerest  affection  for  him;  but 
that  she  was  of  a  proud,  impetuous  character,  and  that  her 
susceptibilities  were  so  acute  as  to  require  a  very  careful 

Monsieur  replied  in  the  sour  tone  of  voice  he  generally 
adopted  with  his  brother,  that  he  could  not  very  well  un- 
derstand the  susceptibilities  of  a  woman  whose  conduct 
might,  in  his  opinion,  expose  her  to  censorious  remarks, 
and  that  if  any  one  had  a  ricrht  to  feel  wounded,  it  was  he. 
Monsieur  himself.  To  this  the  king  replied  in  a  quick  tone 
of  voice,  which  showed  the  interest  he  took  in  his  sister-in- 
law,  "Thank  Heaven,  madime  is  above  censure!" 

"The  censure  of  others,  certainly,  I  admit,"  said  Mon- 
sieur, "but  not  above  mine,  I  presume." 

"Well,"  said  the  king,  "all  I  have  to  say,  Philip,  is,  that 
madame's  conduct  does  not  deserve  your  censurd.  She 
certainly  is  heedless  and  singular,  but  professes  the  best 
feelings.  The  English  character  is  not  always  well  under- 
stood in  France,  aud  the  liberty  of  English  manners  some- 
times surprises  those  who  do  not  know  the  extent  to  which 
this  liberty  is  enriched  by  innocence." 

"Ah!"  said  Monsieur,  more  and  more  piqued,  "from  the 
very  moment  that  your  majesty  absolves  my  wife,  whom  I 
accuse,  my  wife  is  not  guilty,  and  I  have  nothing  more  to 

"Philip,"  replied  the  king  hastily,  for  he  felt  the  voice 
of  conscience  murmuring  softly  in  his  heart  that  Monsieur 
was  not  altogether  wrong,  "what  I  have  done,  and  what  I 
have  said,  was  only  for  your  happiness.     I  was  told  that 

TEN"   YEARS   LATER.  241 

you  complained  of  a  want  of  confidence  or  attention  on 
madame's  part,  and  I  did  not  wish  yonr  i;neasiness  to  be 
prolonged  any  further.  It  is  part  of  my  duty  to  watch  over 
your  household,  as  over  that  of  the  humblest  of  my  subjects. 
I  have  seen,  therefore,  with  the  sincerest  pleasure  that  your 
apprehensions  have  no  foundation." 

''And,"  continued  Monsieur,  in  an  interrogative  tone  of 
voice,  and  fixing  his  eyes  upon  his  brother,  "what  your 
majesty  has  discovered  for  madame — and  I  bow  myself  to 
your  majesty's  superior  judgment — have  you  also  verified  it 
for  those  who  have  been  the  cause  of  the  scandal  of  which 
I  complain?" 

"You  are  right,  Philip,"  said  the  king;  "I  will  consider 
that  point."  These  words  comprised  an  order  as  well  as  a 
consolation;  the  prince  felt  it  to  be  so,  and  withdrew.  As 
for  Louis,  he  went  to  seek  his  mother,  for  he  felt  that  he 
had  need  of  a  more  complete  absolution  than  that  he  had 
just  received  from  his  brother.  Anne  of  Austria  did  not 
entertain  for  M.  de  Guiche  the  same  reasons  for  indulgence 
she  had  had  for  Buckingham.  She  perceived,  at  the  very 
first  words  he  pronounced,  that  Louis  was  not  disposed  to 
be  severe,  as  she  was  indeed.  It  was  one  of^  the  stratagems 
of  the  good  queen,  in  order  to  succeed  in  ascertaining  the 
truth.  But  Louis  was  no  longer  in  his  apprenticeship; 
already  for  more  than  a  year  past  he  had  been  king,  and 
during  that  year  he  had  learned  how  to  dissemble.  Listen- 
ing to  Anne  of  Austria,  in  order  to  permit  her  to  disclose 
her  own  thoughts,  testifying  his  approval  only  by  look  and 
by  gesture,  he  became  convinced,  from  certain  profound 
glances,  and  from  certain  skillful  insinuations,  that  the 
queen,  so  clear-sighted  in  matters  of  gallantry,  had,  if  not 
guessed,  at  least  suspected,  his  weakness  for  madame.  Of 
all  his  auxiliaries,  Anne  of  Austria  would  be  the  most  im- 
portant to  secure:  of  all  his  enemies,  Anne  of  Austria  would 
have  been  the  most  dangerous.  Louis  therefore  changed 
his  maneuvers.  He  complained  of  madame,  absolved  Mon- 
sieur, listened  to  what  his  mother  had  to  say  of  De  Guiche, 
as  he  had  previously  listened  to  what  she  had  had  to  say  of 
Buckingham;  and  then,  when  he  saw  that  she  thought  she 
had  gained  a  complete  victory  over  him,  he  left  her.  The 
whole  of  the  court,  that  is  to  say,  all  the  favorites  and  more 
intimate  associates,  and  they  were  numerous,  since  there 
were  already  five  masters,  were  assembled  in  the  evening 
for  the  repetition  of  the  ballet.  This  interval  had  beeu 
occupied  by  poor  De  Guiche  in  receiving  visits.  Among 
Dumas— Vol.  XY.  H 

242  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

the  number  was  one  which  he  hoped  and  feared  nearly  to 
an  equal  extent.  It  was  that  A  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine. 
About  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  the  chevalier  entered 
De  Guiche's  rooms.  His  looks  were  of  the  most  assuring 
character.  "Monsieur,"  said  he  to  De  Guiche,  "was  in  an 
excellent  humor,  and  no  one  co-Jd  say  that  the  slightest 
cloud  had  passed  across  the  conj  gal  sky.  Besides,  Mon- 
sieur was  not  one  to  bear  ill-f eeling= " 

For  a  very  long  time  past,  during  his  residence  at  the 
court,  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine  had  decided  that,  of  Louis 
XlII.'s  two  sons.  Monsieur  was  the  one  who  had  inherited 
the  father's  character — an  uncertain,  irresolute  character; 
impulsively  good,  evilly  disposed  at  bottom;  but  certainly 
a  cipher  for  his  friends.  He  had  especially  cheered  De 
Guiche,  by  pointing  out  to  him  that  madame  would,  before 
long,  succeed  in  governing  her  husband,  and  that,  conse- 
quently, that  man  would  govern  Monsieur  who  should  suc- 
ceed in  influencing  madame.  To  this,  De  Guiche,  full  of 
mistrust  and  presence  of  mind,  had  replied,  "Yes,  cheva- 
lier; but  I  believe  madame  to  be  a  very  dangerous  person." 

"In  what  respect?" 

"She  has  perceived  that  Monsieur  is  not  very  passionately 
inclined  toward  women." 

"Quite  true,"  said  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine,  laughing. 

"In  that  case,  madame  will  choose  the  first  one  who  ap- 
proaches, in  order  to  make  him  the  object  of  her  prefer- 
ence, and  to  bring  back  her  husband  by  jealousy." 

"Deep!  deep!"  exclaimed  the  chevalier. 

"But  true,"  replied  De  Guiche.  But  neither  the  one 
nor  the  other  expressed  his  real  thought.  De  Guiche,  at 
the  very  moment  he  thus  attacked  madame's  character, 
mentally  asked  her  forgiveness  from  the  bottom  of  his 
heart.  The  chevalier,  v/hile  admiring  De  Guiche's  pene- 
tration, led  him,  blindfolded,  to  the  brink  of  the  precipice. 
De  Guiche  then  questioned  him  more  directly  upon  the 
effect  produced  by  the  scene  of  that  morning,  and  upon  the 
still  more  serious  effect  produced  by  the  scene  at  dinner. 

"But  I  have  already  told  you  they  are  all  laughing  at  it," 
replied  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine,  "and  Monsieur  himself 
at  the  head  of  them." 

"Yet,"  hazarded  De  Guiche,  "I  have  heard  that  the  king 
paid  madame  a  visit." 

"Yes,  precisely  so.  Madame  was  the  only  one  who  did 
not  laugh,  and  the  king  went  to  her  in  order  to  make  her 
laugh  too." 

TE]N    -lEARR    LATER.  243 

*'So  that- 

*'So  that  nothing  is  altered  in  the  arrangements  of  the 
day,"  said  the  chevalier. 

"And  is  there  a  repetition  of  the  ballet  this  evening?'* 


"Are  you  sure?" 

"Quite  so,"  returned  the  chevalier. 

At  this  moment  of  the  conversation  between  the  two 
young  men  Raoul  entered,  looking  full  of  anxiety.  As 
soon  as  the  chevalier,  who  had  a  secret  dislike  for  him,  as 
for  every  other  noble  character,  perceived  him  enter,  he 
rose  from  his  seat. 

"What  do  you  advise  me  to  do,  then?"  inquired  De 
Guiche  of  the  chevalier. 

"I  advise  you  to  go  to  sleep  with  perfect  tranquillity,  my 
dear  comte." 

"And  my  advice,  De  Guiche,"  said  Eaoul,  "is  the  very 

"What  is  that?" 

"To  mount  your  horse  and  set  off  at  once  for  one  of  your 
estates;  on  your  arrival,  follow  the  chevalier's  advice,  if  you 
like;  and,  what  is  more,  you  can  sleep  there  as  long  and  as 
tranquilly  as  you  please." 

"What!  set  off!"  exclaimed  the  chevalier,  feigning  sur- 
prise; "why  should  De  Guiche  set  off?" 

"Because,  and  you  cannot  be  ignorant  of  it — you  particu- 
larly so — because  every  one  is  talking  about  the  scene  which 
has  passed  between  Monsieur  and  De  Guiche."  De  Guiche 
turned  pale. 

"Not  at  all,"  replied  the  chevalier,  "not  at  all,  and  you 
have  been  wrongly  informed.  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne." 

"I  have  been  perfectly  well  informed,  on  the  contrary, 
monsieur,"  replied  Raoul,  "and  the  advice  I  give  De 
Guiche  is  that  of  a  friend." 

During  this  discusssion  De  Guiche,  somewhat  shaken, 
looked  alternately  first  at  one  and  then  at  the  other  of  his 
advisers.  He  inwardly  felt  that  a  game,  important  in  all 
its  consequences  for  the  rest  of  his  life,  was  being  played  at 
that  moment. 

"Is  it  not  the  fact,"  said  the  chevalier,  putting  the  ques- 
tion to  the  comte  himself,  "is  it  not  the  fact,  De  Guiche, 
the  scene  was  not  so  tempestuous  as  the  Vicomte  de  Brage- 
lonne seems  to  think,  and  who^  moreover,  was  not  himself 

"Whether  tempestuous  or  not,"  persisted  Raoul,  "it  is 

5:544  TE2T   YEARS    LATER. 

not  precisely  of  the  scene  itself  that  I  am  speaking,  but  of 
the  consequences  that  may  ensue.  I  know  that  Monsieur 
has  threatened,  and  I  know  that  madamehas  been  in  tears." 

'^Madame  in  tears!"  exclaimed  De  Guiche,  imprudently 
clasping  his  hands. 

"Ah!"  said  the  chevalier,  laughing,  "this  is  indeed  a 
circumstance  I  was  not  acquainted  with.  You  are  decidedly 
better  informed  than  I  am.  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne." 

"And  it  is  because  I  am  better  informed  than  yourself, 
chevalier,  that  I  insist  upon  De  Guiche  leaving." 

"No,  no;  I  regret  to  differ  from  you,  vicomte;  but  his 
departure  is  unnecessary.  Why,  indeed,  should  he  leave? 
Tell  us  why." 

"The  king!" 

"The  king!"  exclaimed  De  Guiche. 

"Yes;  I  tell  you  the  king  has  taken  up  the  affair." 

"Bah!"  said  the  chevalier;  "the  king  likes  De  Guiche, 
and  particularly  his  father;  reflect  that,  if  the  comte  were 
to  leave,  it  would  be  an  admission  that  he  had  done  some- 
thing which  merited  rebuke." 

"Why  so?" 

"No  doubt  of  it;  when  one  runs  away,  it  is  either  from 
guilt  or  from  fear." 

"Or  because  a  man  is  offended,  because  he  is  wrongfully 
accused,"  said  Bragelonne.  "AVe  will  assign  as  a  reason 
for  his  departure  that  he  feels  hurt  and  injured — nothing 
will  be  easier;  we  will  say  that  we  both  did  our  utmost  to 
keep  him,  and  you,  at  least,  will  not  be  speaking  otherwise 
than  the  truth. '  Come,  De  Guiche,  you  are  innocent,  and, 
being  so,  the  scene  of  to-day  must  have  wounded  you.  So 
set  off." 

"No,  De  Guiche,  remain hvhere  you  are,"  said  the  cheva- 
lier; "precisely  as  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne  has  put  it,  be- 
cause you  are  innocent.  Once  more,  forgive  me,  vicomte; 
but  my  opinion  is  the  very  opposite  to  your  own." 

"And  you  are  at  perfect  liberty  to  maintain  it,  monsieur; 
but  be  assured  that  the  exile  which  De  Guiche  will  volun- 
tarily impose  upon  himself  will  be  of  short  duration.  He 
can  terminate  it  whenever  he  pleases,  and,  returning  from 
his  voluntary  exile,  he  will  meet  with  smiles  from  all  lips; 
while,  on  the  contrary,  the  anger  of  the  king  may  draw 
down  a  storm  upon  his  head,  the  end  of  which  no  one  can 

The  chevalier  smiled,  and  murmured  to  himself,  "That 
is   the   very   thing   I   wish."     And   at   the   same  time  he 

TEN"   YEARS   LATER.  245 

shrugged  his  shoulders,  a  movement  which  did  not  escape 
the  comte,  who  dreaded,  if  he  quitted  the  court,  to  seem  to 
yield  to  a  feeling  of  fear. 

''No,  no;  I  have  decided,  Bragelonne;  I  stay." 

"I  prophesy,  then,"  said  Eaoul  sadly,  "that  misfortune 
will  befall  you,  De  Guiche." 

"I,  too,  am  a  prophet,  but  not  a  prophet  of  evil;  on  the 
contrary,  comte,  I  say  to  you,  remain." 

'"Are  you  sure,"  inquired  De  Guiche,  "that  the  repeti- 
tion of  the  ballet  still  takes  place?" 

"Quite  sure." 

"Well,  you  see,  Eaoul,"  continued  De  Guiche,  endeavor- 
ing to  smile,  "you  see  the  court  is  not  so  very  sorrowful,  or 
so  readily  disposed  for  internal  dissensions,  when  dancing 
is  carried  on  with  such  assiduity.  Come,  acknowledge 
that,"  said  the  comte  to  Raoul,  who  shook  his  head,  saying: 

"I  have  nothing  to  add." 

"But,"  inquired  the  chevalier,  curious  to  learn  whence 
Raoul  had  obtained  his  information,  the  exactitude  of  which 
he  was  inwardly  forced  to  admit,  "since  you  say  you  are 
well  informed,  vicomte,  how  can  you  be  better  informed 
than  myself,  who  am  one  of  the  prince's  most  intimate 

"To  such  a  declaration  I  submit.  Yon  certainly  ought 
to  be  perfectly  well  informed,  I  admit;  and,  as  a  man  of 
honor  is  incapable  of  saying  anything  but  what  he  knows  to 
be  true,  or  of  speaking  otherwise  than  what  he  thinks,  I 
shall  say  no  more,  but  confess  myself  defeated,  and  leave 
you  in  possession  of  the  field  of  battle." 

Whereupon  Eaoul,  who  now  seemed  only  to  care  to  be 
left  quiet,  threw  himself  upon  a  large  couch,  while  the 
comte  summoned  his  servants  to  aid  him  in  dressing.  The 
chevalier,  finding  that  time  was  passing  away,  wished  to 
leave;  but  he  feared,  too,  that  Eaoul,  left  alone  with  De 
Guiche,  might  yet  influence  him  to  change  his  resolution. 
He  therefore  made  use  of  his  last  resource. 

"Madame,"  he  said,  "will  be  brilliant;  she  appears  to- 
day in  her  costume  of  Pomona." 

"Yes,  that  is  so,"  exclaimed  the  comte. 

"And  she  has  Just  given  directions  in  consequence,"  con- 
tinued the  chevalier.  "You  know.  Monsieur  de  Brage- 
lonne, that  the  king  is  to  appear  as  Spring." 

"It  will  be  admirable,"  said  De  Guiche;  "and  that  is  a 
better  reason  for  me  to  remain  than  any  you  have  yet  given, 
because  I  am  to  appear  as  Autumn,  and  shall  have  to  dance 

246  TEN   TEARS    LATER. 

with  madame.  I  cannot  absent  myself  without  the  king's 
orders,  since  my  departure  would  interrupt  the  ballet." 

"I,"  said  the  chevalier,  "am  to  be  only  a  simple  Egyptian; 
true  it  is,  I  am  a  bad  dancer,  and  my  legs  are  not  well  made. 
Gentlemen,  adieu.  Do  not  forget  the  basket  of  fruit, 
which  you  are  to  offer  to  Pomona,  comte." 

"Be  assured,"  said  De  Guiche  delightedly,  "I  shall  for- 
get nothing," 

"I  am  now  quite  certain  that  he  will  remain,"  murmured 
the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine  to  himself. 

Eaoul,  when  the  chevalier  had  left,  did  not  even  attempt 
to  dissuade  his  friend,  for  he  felt  that  it  would  be  trouble 
thrown  away;  he  merely  observed  to  the  comte,  in  his  mel- 
ancholy and  melodious  voice,  "You  are  embarking  in  a 
most  dangerous  enterprise.  I  know  you  well;  you  go  to 
extremes  in  everything,  and  she  whom  you  love  does  so  too. 
Admitting  for  an  instant  that  she  should  at  last  love 
you " 

"Oh,  never!"  exclaimed  De  Guiche. 

"Why  do  you  say  never?" 

"Because  it  would  be  a  great  misfortune  for  both  of  us." 

"In  that  case,  instead  of  regarding  you  as  simply  impru- 
dent, I  cannot  but  consider  you  as  absolutely  mad." 


"Are  you  perfectly  sure,  mind,  answer  me  frankly,  that 
you  do  not  wish  her  whom  you  love  to  make  any  sacrifice 
for  you?" 

"Yes,  yes;  quite  sure." 

"Love  her,  then,  at  a  distance." 

"What!  at  a  distance?" 

"Certainly;  what  matters  being  present  or  absent,  since 
you  expect  nothing  from  her.  Love  a  portrait,  a  remem- 


"Love  a  shadow,  an  illusion,  a  chimera;  be  devoted  to 
the  affection  itself,  in  giving  a  name  to  your  ideality." 


"You  turn  away;  your  servants  approach;  I  shall  say  no 
more.  In  good  or  bad  fortune,  De  Guiche,  depend  upon 

"Indeed  I  shall  do  so." 

"Very  well;  that  is  all  I  had  to  say  to  you.  Spare  no 
pains  in  your  person,  De  Guiche,  and  look  your  very  best. 

"You  will  not  be  present,  then,  at  the  repetition, 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  247 

*'No;  I  shall  have  a  visit  to  pay  in  town.  Farewell,  De 

The  reception  was  to  take  place  in  the  king's  apartments. 
In  the  first  place,  there  were  the  queens,  then  madame, 
and  a  few  ladies  of  the  court,  who  had  been  selected.  A 
great  number  of  courtiers,  also  carefully  selected,  occupied 
the  time,  before  the  dancing  commenced,  in  conversing,  as 
people  knew  how  to  converse  in  those  times.  None  of  the 
ladies  who  had  received  invitations  appeared  in  the  costumes 
of  the  fete,  as  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine  had  predicted,  but 
many  conversations  took  place  about  the  rich  and  ingenious 
toilets  designed  by  different  painters  for  the  ballet  of  "The 
Demi-Gods,"  for  thus  were  termed  the  kings  and  queens, 
of  which  Fontainebleau  Avas  about  to  become  the  Pantheon. 
Monsieur  arrived,  holding  in  his  hand  a  drawing  represent- 
ing his  character;  he  looked  somewhat  anxious;  he  bowed 
courteously  to  the  young  queen  and  his  mother,  but  saluted 
madame  almost  cavalierly.  His  notice  of  her  and  his  cold 
ness  of  manner  were  observed  by  all.  M.  de  Guiche  in- 
demnified the  princess  by  a  look  of  passionate  devotion,  and 
it  must  be  admitted  that  madame,  as  she  raised  her  eyes, 
returned  it  to  him  with  usury.  It  is  unquestionable  that 
De  Guiche  had  never  looked  so  handsome,  for  madame's 
glance  had  had  the  effect  of  lighting  up  the  features  of  the 
son  of  the  Marshal  de  Grammont.  The  king's  sister-in- 
law  felt  a  storm  mustering  above  her  head;  she  felt,  too, 
that  during  the  whole  of  the  day,  so  fruitful  in  future 
events,  she  had  acted  unjustly,  if  not  treasonably,  toward 
one  who  loved  her  with  such  a  depth  of  devotion.  In  her 
eyes,  the  moment  seemed  to  have  arrived  for  an  acknowl- 
edgment to  the  poor  victim  of  the  injustice  of  the  moi'ning. 
Her  heart  spoke,  and  murmured  the  name  of  De  Guiche; 
the  comte  was  sincerely  pitied,  and  accordingly  gained  the 
victory  over  all  others.  Neither  Monsieur,  nor  the  king, 
nor  the  Duke  of  Buckingham  was  any  longer  thought  of; 
and  De  Guiche  at  that  moment  reigned  without  a  rival. 
But  although  Monsieur  also  looked  very  handsome,  still  he 
could  not  be  compared  to  the  comte.  It  is  well  known — 
indeed,  all  women  say  so — that  a  very  wide  difference  in- 
variably exists  between  the  good  looks  of  a  lover  and  those 
of  a  husband.  Besides,  in  the  present  case,  after  Monsieur 
had  left,  and  after  the  courteous  and  affectionate  recogni- 
tion of  the  young  queen  and  of  the  queen-mother,  and  the 
careless  and  indifferent  notice  of  madame,  which  all  the 
courtiers  had  remarked,  all  these  motives  gave  the  lover 

248  TEN    YEAES   LATER. 

the  advantage  over  the  husband.  Monsieur  was  too  great 
a  personage  to  notice  these  details.  Nothing  is  so  certain 
as  a  well-settled  idea  of  superiority  to  prove  the  inferiority 
of  the  man  who  has  that  opinion  of  himself.  The  king 
arrived.  Every  one  looked  for  what  might  possibly  happen, 
in  the  glance,  which  began  to  bestir  the  world,  like  the 
brow  of  Jupiter  Tonans.  Louis  had  none  of  his  brother's 
gloominess,  but  was  perfectly  radiant.  Having  examined  a 
greater  part  of  the  drawings  which  were  displayed  for  his 
inspection  on  every  side,  he  gave  his  opinion  or  made  his 
remarks  upon  them,  and  in  this  manner  rendered  some 
happy  and  others  unhappy  by  a  single  word.  Suddenly 
his  glance,  which  was  smilingly  directed  toward  madame, 
detected  the  silent  'Correspondence  which  was  established 
between  the  princess  and  the  comte.  He  bit  his  lip,  but 
when  he  opened  them  again  to  utter  a  few  commonplace 
remarks,  he  said,  advancing  toward  the  queens: 

"I  have  Just  been  informed  that  everything  is  now  pre- 
pared at  Fontainebleau,  in  accordance  with  my  directions." 
A  murmur  of  satisfaction  arose  from  the  different  groups, 
and  the  king  perceived  on  every  face  the  greatest  anxiety 
to  receive  an  invitation  for  the  fetes.  "I  shall  leave  to- 
morrow," he  added.  Whereupon  the  profoundest  silence 
immediately  ensued.  "And  I  invite,"  said  the  king,  finish- 
ing, "all  those  who  are  now  present  to  get  ready  to  accom- 
pany me." 

Smiling  faces  were  now  everywhere  visible,  with  the  ex- 
ception of  Monsieur,  who  seemed  to  retain  his  ill-humor. 
The  different  noblemen  and  ladies  of  the  court  thereupon 
defiled  before  the  king,  one  after  the  other,  in  order  to 
thank  his  majesty  for  the  great  honor  which  had  been  con- 
ferred upon  them  by  the  invitation.  When  it  came  to  De 
Guiche's  turn,  the  king  said: 

"Ah!  Monsieur  de  Guiche,  I  did  not  see  you." 

The  comte  bowed,  and  madame  turned  pale.  De  Guiche 
was  about  to  open  his  lips  to  express  his  thanks,  when  the 
king  said: 

"Comte,  this  is  the  season  for  farming  purposes  in  the 
country.  I  am  sure  your  tenants  in  Normandy  will  be  glad 
to  see  you." 

The  king,  after  this  severe  attack,  turned  his  back  to  the 
poor  comte,  whose  turn  it  was  now  to  become  pale;  he  ad- 
vanced a  few  steps  toward  the  king,  forgetting  that  the 
king  is  never  spoken  to  except  in  reply  to  questions 

TEK    TEAES    LATER.  249 

"I  have  perhaps  misun'derstood  your  majesty,"  he  stam- 
mered out. 

The  king  turned  his  head  slightly,  and  with  a  cold  and 
stern  glance,  which  plunged  like  a  sword  relentlessly  into 
the  hearts  of  those  under  disgrace,  repeated: 

"I  said  retire  to  your  estates;"  and  allowing  every  sylla- 
ble to  fall  slowly,  one  by  one. 

A  cold  perspiration  bedewed  the  comte's  face,  his  hands 
convulsively  opened,  and  his  hat,  which  he  held  between 
his  trembling  fingers,  fell  to  the  ground.  Louis  sought  his 
mother's  glance  as  though  to  show  her  that  he  was  master; 
he  sought  his  brother's  triumj)hant  look,  as  if  to  ask  him  if 
he  were  satisfied  Avith  the  vengeance  taken;  and,  lastly,  his 
eyes  fell  upon  madame;  but  the  j)rincess  was  laughing  and 
smiling  with  Mme.  de  Noailles.  She  had  heard  nothing, 
or  rather  had  pretended  not  to  hear  at  all.  The  Chevalier 
de  Lorraine  looked  on  also,  with  one  of  those  looks  of  set- 
tled hostility  which  seemed  to  give  to  a  man's  glance  the 
power  of  a  lever  when  it  raises  an  obstacle,  wrests  it  away, 
and  casts  it  to  a  distance.  M.  de  Guiche  was  left  alone  in 
the  king's  cabinet,  the  whole  of  the  company  having  de- 
parted. Shadows  seemed  to  dance  before  his  eyes.  He 
suddenly  broke  through  the  fixed  despair  which  over- 
whelmed him,  and  flew  to  hide  himself  in  his  own  rooms, 
where  Eaoul  awaited  him,  confident  in  his  own  sad  pre- 

"Well?"  he  murmured,  seeing  his  friend  enter,  bare- 
headed, with  a  wild  gaze  and  tottering  gait. 

"Yes,  yes,  it  is  true,"  said  De  C4uiche,  unable  to  utter 
more,  and  falling  exhausted  upon  the  couch. 

"And  she?"  inquired  Eaoul. 

"She!"  exclaimed  his  unhappy  friend,  as  he  raised  his 
hand,  clinched  in  anger,  toward  heaven.     "She " 

"What  did  she  say  and  do?" 

"She  said  that  her  dress  suited  her  admirably,  and  then 
she  laughed." 

A  fit  of  hysteric  laughter  seemed  to  shatter  his  nerves,  for 
he  fell  backward,  completely  overcome. 

250  TEN"   TEARS   LATER. 



For  four  days  every  kind  of  enchantment  brought  to- 
gether in  the  magnificent  gardens  of  Fontainebleau  had 
converted  this  spot  into  a  place  of  the  most  perfect  enjoy- 
ment. M.  Colbert  seemed  gifted  with  ubiquity.  In  the 
morning  there  were  the  accounts  of  the  previous  night's 
expenses  to  settle;  during  the  day,  programmes,  essays, 
enlistments,  payments.  M.  Colbert  had  amassed  four  mil- 
lions of  francs,  and  dispersed  them  with  a  prudent  economy. 
He  was  horrified  at  the  expenses  which  mythology  involved; 
every  wood-nymph,  every  dryad  did  not  cost  less  than  a 
hundred  francs  a  day.  The  dress  alone  amounted  to  three 
hundred  francs.  The  expense  of  powder  and  sulphur  for 
fireworks  amounted,  every  night,  to  a  hundred  thousand 
francs.  In  addition  to  these,  the  illuminations  on  the 
borders  of  the  sheet  of  water  cost  thirty  thousand  francs 
every  evening.  The  fetes  had  been  magnificent,  and  Col- 
bert could  not  restrain  his  delight.  From  time  to  time  he 
noticed  madame  and  the  king  setting  forth  on  hunting  ex- 
peditions, or  preparing  for  the  reception  of  different  fantastic 
personages,  solemn  ceremonials,  which  had  been  extempo- 
rized a  fortnight  before,  and  in  which  madame's  sparkling 
wit  and  the  king's  magnificence  were  equally  displayed. 

For  madame,  the  heroine  of  the  fete,  replied  to  the  ad- 
dresses of  the  deputations  from  unknown  races — Gara- 
manths,  Scythians,  Hyperboreans,  Caucasians,  and  Pata- 
gonians,  who  seemed  to  issue  from  the  ground,  for  the 
purpose  of  approaching  her  with  their  congratulations;  and 
upon  every  representative  of  these  races  the  king  bestowed 
a  diamond  or  some  other  article  of  great  value.  Then  the 
deputies,  in  verses  more  or  less  amusing,  compared  the  king 
to  the  sun,  madame  to  Phoebe,  the  sun's  sister,  and  the 
queen  and  Monsieur  were  no  more  spoken  of  than  if  the 
king  had  married  Mme.  Henrietta  of  England,  and  not 
Maria  Theresa  of  Austria.  The  happy  pair,  hand  in  hand, 
imperceptibly  pressing  each  other's  fingers,  drank  in  deep 
draughts  the  sweet  beverage  of  adulation,  by  which  the  at- 
tractions of  youth,  beauty,  power,  and  love  are  enhanced. 
Every  one  at  Fontainebleau  was  amazed  at  the  extent  of 
the  influence  which  madame  had  so  rapidly  acquired  over 
the  king,  and  whispered  among  themselves  that  madame 
was,  in  point  of  fact,  the  true  queen^  and,  in  effect,  the 

TEN    YEAKS    LATER.  251 

king  himself  proclaimed  its  truth  by  his  every  thought, 
word,  and  look.  He  formed  his  wishes,  he  drew  his  inspira- 
tions from  madame's  eyes,  and  his  delight  was  unbounded 
when  madarae  deigned  to  smile  upon  him.  And  was  ma- 
dame,  on  her  side,  intoxicated  with  the  power  she  wielded, 
as  she  beheld  every  one  at  her  feet?  This  was  a  question 
she  herself  could  hardly  answer;  but  what  she  did  know 
was,  that  she  could  frame  no  wish,  and  that  she  felt  herself 
to  be  perfectly  happy.  The  result  of  all  these  changes,  the 
source  of  which  emanated  from  the  royal  will,  was  that 
Monsieur,  instead  of  being  the  second  person  in  the  king- 
dom, had,  in  reality,  become  the  third.  And  it  was  now 
far  worse  than  in  the  time  when  De  Guiche's  guitars  were 
heard  in  madame's  apartments;  for  then,  at  least.  Monsieur 
had  the  satisfaction  of  frightening  those  who  annoyed  him. 
Since  the  departure,  however,  of  the  enemy,  who  had  been 
driven  away  by  means  of  his  alliance  with  the  king,  Mon- 
sieur had  to  submit  to  a  burden  heavier,  but  in  a  very 
different  sense,  to  his  former  one.  Every  evening  madame 
returned  home  quite  exhausted.  Horse-riding,  bathing  in 
the  Seine,  spectacles,  dinners  under  the  leafy  covert  of  the 
trees,  balls  on  the  banks  of  the  grand  canal,  concerts,  etc., 
etc.;  all  this  would  have  been  suflicient  to  have  killed,  not 
a  slight  and  delicate  woman,  but  the  strongest  porter  in  the 
chateau.  It  is  perfectly  true  that,  with  regard  to  dancing, 
concerts,  and  promenades,  and  such  matters,  a  woman  is 
far  stronger  than  the  most  robust  porter  of  the  chateau. 
But,  however  great  a  woman's  strength  may  be,  there  is  a 
limit  to  it,  and  she  cannot  hold  out  long  under  such  a 
system.  As  for  Monsieur,  he  had  not  even  the  satisfaction 
of  witnessing  madame's  abdication  of  her  royalty  in  the 
evening,  for  she  lived  in  the  royal  pavilion  Avith  the  young 
queen  and  the  queen-mother.  As  a  matter  of  course,  the 
Chevalier  de  Lorraine  did  not  quit  Monsieur,  and  did  not 
fail  to  distill  his  drops  of  gall  into  every  wound  the  latter 
received.  The  result  was,  that  Monsieur — Avho  had  at  first 
been  in  the  highest  spirits,  and  completely  restored  since 
De  Guiche's  departure — subsided  into  his  melancholy  state 
three  days  after  the  court  was  installed  at  Fontainebleau. 
It  happened,  however,  that  one  day,  about  two  o'clock  in 
the  afternoon,  Monsieur,  who  had  risen  late,  and  had  be- 
stowed upon  his  toilet  more  than  his  usual  attention,  it 
happened,  we  repeat,  that  Monsieur,  who  had  not  heard  of 
any  plans  having  been  arranged  for  the  day,  formed  the  pro- 
ject of  collecting  his  own  court  and  of  carrying  madame  off 

252  TEN    TEARS    LATER. 

with  him  to  Moret,  where  he  posseysed  a  charming  countiy 
house.  He  accordingly  went  to  the  queen's  pavilion  and 
was  astonished  on  entering  to  find  none  of  the  royal  serv- 
ants in  attendance.  Quite  alone,  therefore,  he  entered  the 
rooms,  a  door  on  the  left  opening  to  madame's  apartment, 
the  one  on  the  right  to  the  young  queen's.  In  his  wife's 
apartment  Monsieur  was  informed  by  a  seamstress  who  was 
working  there  t'hat  every  one  had  left  at  eleven  o'clock,  for 
the  purpose  of  bathing  in  the  Seine,  that  a  grand  fete  was 
to  be  made  of  the  expedition,  that  all  the  carriages  had 
been  placed  at  the  park  gates,  and  that  they  had  all  set  out 
more  than  an  hour  ago. 

"Very  good,"  said  Monsieur,  "the  idea  is  a  good  one; 
the  heat  is  very  oppressive,  and  I  have  no  objection  to 
bathe,  too." 

He  summoned  his  servants,  but  no  one  came.  He  sum- 
moned those  in  attendance  on  madame,  but  everybody  had 
gone  out.  He  then  went  to  the  stables,  where  he  was  in- 
formed by  a  groom  that  there  were  no  carriages  of  any 
description.  He  then  desired  that  a  couple  of  horses  should 
be  saddled,  one  for  himself,  and  the  other  for  his  valet. 
The  groom  told  him  that  all  the  horses  had  been  sent  away. 
Monsieur,  pale  with  anger  again  descended  toward  the  queen's 
apartments,  and  penetrated  as  far  as  Anne  of  Austria's 
oratory,  where  he  perceived,  through  the  half -opened  tapes- 
try hangings,  his  young  and  beautiful  sister  on  her  knees 
before  the  queen-mother,  who  appeared  weeping  bitterly. 
He  had  not  been  either  seen  or  heard.  He  cautiously  ap- 
proached the  opening,  and  listened,  the  sight  of  so  much 
grief  having  aroused  his  curiosity.  Not  only  was  the  young 
queen  weeping,  but  she  was  complaining  also. 

"Yes,"  she  said,  "the  king  neglects  me,  the  king  devotes 
himself  to  pleasures  and  amusements  only  in  which  I  have 
no  share." 

"Patience,  patience,  my  daughter,"  said  Anne  of  Austria, 
in  Spanish;  and  then,  also  in  Spanish,  added  some  words  of 
advice,  which  Monsieur  did  not  understand.  The  queen 
replied  by  accusations,  mingled  with  sighs  and  sobs,  among 
which  Monsieur  often  distinguished  the  word  lanos,  which 
Maria  Theresa  accentuated  with  spiteful  anger. 

"The  baths,"  said  Monsieur  to  himself,  "it  seems  it  is 
the  baths  that  have  put  her  out." 

And  he  endeavored  to  put  together  the  disconnected 
phrases  which  he  had  been  able  to  understand.  It  was 
easy  to  guess  that  the  queen  complained  bitterly,  and  that. 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  253 

if  Anne  of  Austria  did  not  console  her,  she  at  least  endeav- 
ored to  do  so.  Monsieur  was  afraid  to  be  detected  listening 
at  the  door,  and  he  therefore  made  up  his  mind  to  cough; 
the  two  queens  turned  round  at  the  sound,  and  Monsieur 
entered.  At  the  sight  of  the  prince  the  young  queen  rose 
precipitately,  and  dried  her  tears.  Monsieur,  however, 
knew  the  people  he  had  to  deal  with  too  well,  and  was 
naturally  too  polite  to  remain  silent,  and  he  accordingly 
saluted  them.  The  queen-mother  smiled  pleasantly  at 
him,  saying: 

"What  do  you  want,  Philip?" 

"I? — nothing,"  stammered  Monsieur.  "I  was  looking 
for " 


"I  was  looking  for  madame." 

"Madame  is  at  the  baths." 

"And  the  king?"  said  Monsieur,  in  a  tone  which  made 
the  queen  tremble. 

"The  king  also,  and  the  whole  court  as  well,"  replied 
Anne  of  Austria. 

"Except  you,  madame,"  said  Monsieur. 

"Oh,  I!"  said  the  young  queen,  "I  seem  to  terrify  all 
those  who  amuse  themselves." 

Anne  of  Austria  made  a  sign  to  her  daughter-in-law,  who 
withdrew,  weeping. 

Monsieur's  brows  contracted,  as  he  remarked  aloud: 

"What  a  cheerless  house!  What  do  you  think  of  it, 

"Why,  no;  everybody  here  is  pleasure-hunting." 

"Yes,  indeed,  that  is  the  very  thing  that  makes  those 
dull  who  do  not  care  for  pleasure." 

"In  what  a  tone  you  say  that,  Philip!" 

"Upon  my  word,  madame,  I  sj^eak  as  I  think." 

"Explain  yourself.     What  is  the  matter?" 

"Ask  my  sister-in-law,  rather,  who  just  now  was  detail- 
ing all  her  grievances  to  you." 

"Her  grievances;  what " 

"Yes,  1  was  listening;  accidentally,  I  confess,  but  still  I 
listened — so  that  I  heard  only  too  well  my  sister  complain 
of  those  famous  baths  of  madame " 

"What  folly!" 

"No,  no,  no;  people  are  not  always  foolish  when  they 
weep.     The  queen  said  banos,  which  means  baths." 

"I  repeat,  Philip,"  said  Anne  of  Austria,  "that  your 
sister  is  most  childishly  jealous." 

254  TEJf   YEARS   LATER. 

"In  that  case,  madame,"  replied  the  prince,  "I,  too, 
must,  with  great  humility,  accuse  myself  of  possessing  the 
same  defect  as  she  has." 

"You  also,  Philip?" 


"Are  you  really  Jealous  of  these  baths?" 

"And  why  not^  madame,  when  the  king  goes  to  the  baths 
with  my  wife,  and  does  not  take  the  queen?  Why  not, 
when  madame  goes  to  the  baths  with  the  king,  and  does  not 
do  me  the  honor  to  tell  me  of  it?  And  you  require  my 
sister-in-law  to  be  satisfied,  and  require  me  to  be  satisfied, 

"You  are  raving,  my  dear  Philip,"  said  Anne  of  Austria; 
"you  have  driven  the  Duke  of  Buckingham  away;  you  have 
been  the  cause  of  Monsieur  de  Guiche's  exile;  do  you  now 
wish  to  send  the  king  away  from  Fontainebleau?" 

"I  do  not  pretend  to  anything  of  the  kind,  madame," 
said  Monsieur  bitterly;  "but,  at  least,  I  can  withdraw,  and 
I  shall  do  so." 

"Jealous  of  the  king — jealous  of  your  brother?" 

"Yes,  madame,  I  am  Jealous  of  the  king — of  my  own 
brother,  and  very  Jealous,  too." 

"Eeally,  Monsieur,"  exclaimed  Anne  of  Austria,  affect- 
ing to  be  indignant  and  angry,  "I  begin  to  believe  you  are 
mad,  and  a  sworn  enemy  to  my  repose.  I  therefore  abandon 
the  place  to  you,  for  I  have  no  means  of  defending  myself 
against  such  wild  conceptions." 

She  arose  and  left  Monsieur  a  prey  to  the  most  extrava- 
gant transport  of  passion.  He  remained  for  a  moment  com- 
pletely bewildered;  then,  recovering  himself,  he  again  weiit 
to  the  stables,  found  the  groom,  once  more  asked  him  for  a 
carriage  or  a  horse,  and  upon  his  replying  that  there  was 
neither  the  one  nor  the  other.  Monsieur  snatched  a  long 
whip  from  the  hand  of  a  stable-boy,  and  began  to  pursue 
the  poor  devil  of  a  groom  all  round  the  servants'  court- 
yard, whipping  him  all  the  while,  in  spite  of  his  cries  and 
his  excuses;  then,  quite  out  of  breath,  covered  with  per- 
spiration, and  trembling  in  every  limb,  he  returned  to  his 
own  apartments,  broke  in  pieces  some  beautiful  specimens 
of  porcelain,  and  then  got  into  bed,  booted  and  spurred  as 
he  was,  crying  out  for  some  one  to  come  to  him. 

TEN   YEAES   LATER.  255 



At  Valvins,  beneath  the  impenetrable  shade  of  flowering 
osiers  and  willows,  which,  as  they  bent  down  their  green  heads, 
dipped  the  extremities  of  their  branches  in  the  blue  waters, 
a  long  and  flat-bottomed  boat,  with  ladders  covered  with  long 
blue  curtains,  served  as  a  refuge  for  the  bathing  Dianas,  who, 
as  they  left  the  water,  were  watched  by  twenty  plumed  Acteons, 
who,  eagerly,  and  full  of  desire,  galloped  up  and  down  the 
moss-grown  and  perfumed  banks  of  the  river.  But  Diana 
herself,  even  the  chaste  Diana,  clothed  in  her  long  chlamys, 
was  less  beautiful — less  impenetrable,  than  madame,  as  young 
and  beautiful  as  that  goddess  herself.  For,  notwithstanding 
the  fine  tunic  of  the  huntress,  her  romid  and  delicate  knee 
can  be  seen;  and  notwithstanding  the  sonorous  quiver,  her 
brown  shoulders  can  be  detected;  whereas,  in  madame's  case, 
a  long  white  veil  enveloped  her,  wrapping  her  round  and 
round  a  hundred  times,  as  she  resigned  herself  into  the  hands 
of  her  female  attendants,  and  thus  was  rendered  inaccessible 
to  the  most  indiscreet,  as  well  as  to  the  most  penetrating  gaze. 
When  she  ascended  the  ladder  the  poets  who  were  present — 
and  all  were  poets  when  madame  was  the  subject  of  discussion 
— the  twenty  poets  who  were  galloping  about  stopped,  and 
with  one  voice  exclaimed  that  pearls,  and  not  drops  of  water, 
were  falling  from  her  person,  to  be  lost  again  in  the  happy 
river.  The  king,  the  center  of  these  eftusions,  and  of  this  re- 
spectful homage,  imposed  silence  upon  those  expatiators,  for 
whom  it  seemed  impossible  to  exhaust  their  raptures,  and 
he  rode  away  from  fear  of  offending,  even  under  the  silken 
curtains,  the  modesty  of  the  woman  and  the  dignity  of  the 
princess.  A  great  blank  thereupon  ensued  in  the  scene,  and  a 
perfect  silence  in  the  boat.  From  the  movements  on  board 
— from  the  flutterings  and  agitations  of  the  curtains — the 
goings  to  and  fro  of  the  female  attendants  engaged  in  their 
duties  could  be  guessed. 

The  king  smilingly  listened  to  the  conversation  of  the 
courtiers  around  him,  but  it  could  easily  be  perceived  that 
he  gave  but  little,  if  any,  attention  to  their  remarks.  In 
fact,  hardly  had  the  sound  of  the  rings  drawn  along  the 
curtain-rods  announced  that  madame  was  dressed,  and  that 
the  goddess  was  about  to  make  her  appearance,  than  the 
king,  returning  to  his  former  post  immediately,  and  run- 


niug  quite  close  to  the  river-bank,  gave  the  signal  for  all 
those  to  approach  Avhose  attendance  or  pleasure  summoned 
them  to  madame's  side.  The  pages  hurried  forward,  con- 
ducting the  led  horses;  the  carriages,  which  had  remained 
sheltered  under  the  trees,  advanced  toward  the  teut,  fol- 
lowed by  a  crowd  of  servants,  bearers,  and  female  attendants, 
who,  while  their  masters  had  been  bathing,  had  mutually 
exchanged  their  own  observations,  their  critical  remarks, 
and  the  discussion  of  matters  personal  to  themselves — the 
fugitive  journal  of  that  period,  of  which  no  record  is  pre- 
served, not  even  by  the  waters,  the  mirror  of  individuals, 
echoes  of  conversations,  witnesses  whom  Heaven  has  hur- 
ried into  immensity,  as  he  has  hurried  the  actors  themselves 
into  eternity.  A  crowd  of  people  upon  the  banks  of  the 
river,  without  reckoning  the  groups  of  peasants  drawn 
together  by  their  anxiety  to  see  the  king  and  the  princess, 
was  for  many  minutes  the  most  disorderly,  but  the  most 
agreeable,  pellmell  imaginable.  The  king  dismounted 
from  his  horse,  a  movement  which  was  imitated  by  all  the 
courtiers,  and  offered  his  hand  to  madame,  whose  rich 
riding-habit  displayed  her  fine  figure,  which  was  set  oil  to 
great  advantage  by  that  garment,  made  of  fine  woolen  cloth 
embroidered  with  silver.  Her  hair,  still  damp  and  blacker 
than  jet,  hung  in  heavy  masses  upon  her  white  and  delicate 
neck.  Joy  and  health  sparkled  in  her  beautiful  eyes;  com- 
posed, and  yet  full  of  energy,  she  inhaled  the  air  in  deep 
draughts,  under  the  embroidered  parasol,  which  was  borne 
by  one  of  her  pages.  Nothing  could  be  more  charming, 
more  graceful,  more  poetical,  than  these  two  figures  buried 
under  the  rose-colored  shade  of  the  parasol;  the  king,  whose 
white  teeth  were  displayed  in  continual  smiles,  and  madame, 
whose  black  eyes  sparkled  like  two  carbuncles  in  the  glitter- 
ing reflection  of  the  changing  hues  of  the  silk.  _  When 
madame  had  approached  her  horse,  a  magnificent  animal  of 
Andalusian  breed,  of  spotless  white,  somewhat  heavy,  per- 
haps, but  with  a  spirited  and  splendid  head,  in  which  the 
mixture  so  happily  combined  of  Arabian  and  Spanish  blood 
could  be  readily  traced,  and  whose  long  tail  swept  the 
ground;  and  as  the  princess  affected  difficulty  in  mounting, 
the  king  took  her  in  his  arms  in  such  a  manner  that  ma- 
dame's arm  was  clasped  like  a  circlet  of  fire  around  the 
king's  neck;  Louis,  as  he  withdrew,  involuntarily  touched 
with  his  lips  the  arm,  which  was  not  withheld,  and  the 
princess,  having  thanked  her  royal  equerry,  every  one 
sprang  to  his  saddle  at  the  same  moment.     The  king  and 

TEN"   TEARS   LATER.  257 

madame  drew  aside  to  allow  the  carriages,  the  outriders, 
and  runners  to  pass  by.  A  fair  proportion  of  the  cavaliers, 
released  from  the  restraint  which  etiquette  had  imposed 
upon  them,  gave  the  rein  to  their  horses,  and  darted  after 
the  carriages  which  bore  the  maids  of  honor,  as  blooming 
as  so  many  Oreades  around  Diana,  and  the  whirlwind, 
laughing,  chattering,  and  noisy,  passed  onward. 

The  king  and  madame,  however,  kept  their  horses  in 
hand  at  a  foot-pace.  Behind  his  majesty  and  his  sister-in- 
law,  certain  of  the  courtiers — those,  at  least,  who  were 
seriously  disposed,  or  were  anxious  to  be  within  reach,  or 
under  the  eyes  of  the  king — followed  at  a  respectful  dis- 
tance, restraining  their  impatient  horses,  regulating  their 
pace  by  that  of  the  king  and  madame,  and  abandoned  them- 
selves to  all  the  delight  and  gratification  which  is  to  be 
found  in  the  conversation  of  clever  people,  who  can,  with 
perfect  courtesy,  make  a  thousand  of  the  most  atrocious 
remarks  about  their  neighbors.  In  their  stifled  laughter, 
and  in  the  little  reticences  of  their  sardonic  humor.  Mon- 
sieur, the  poor  absentee,  was  not  spared.  But  they  pitied, 
and  bewailed  greatly,  the  fate  of  De  Guiche;  and  it  must 
be  confessed  that  their  compassion,  as  far  as  he  was  con- 
cerned, was  not  misplaced.  The  king  and  madame  having 
breathed  their  horses,  and  repeated  a  hundred  times  over 
such  remarks  as  the  courtiers,  who  made  them  talk,  had 
suggested  to  them,  set  off  at  a  hand-gallop,  and  the  shady 
coverts  of  the  forest  resounded  to  the  heavy  footfall  of  the 
mounted  party.  To  the  conversations  beneath  the  shade  of 
trees — to  the  remarks  made  in  the  shape  of  confidential 
commuhications,  and  to  the  observations  which  had  been 
mysteriously  exchanged,  succeeded  the  noisiest  bursts  of 
laughter;  from  the  very  outriders  to  royalty  itself,  merri- 
ment seemed  to  spread.  Every  one  began  to  laugh  and  to 
cry  out.  The  magpies  and  the  jays  flew  away,  uttering 
their  guttural  cries,  beneath  the  waving  avenues  of  the 
oaks;  the  cuckoo  stayed  his  monotonous  cry  in  the  recesses 
of  the  forest;  the  chaffinch  and  tomtit  flew  away  in  clouds; 
while  the  terrified  fawn,  and  other  deer,  bounded  forward 
from  the  midst  of  the  thickets.  This  crowd,  spreading 
wildly  joy,  confusion,  and  light  wherever  it  passed,  Avas 
preceded,  it  may  be  said,  to  the  chateau  by  its  own  clamor. 
As  the  king  and  madame  entered  the  village  they  were 
both  received  by  the  general  acclamations  of  the  croAvd. 
Madame  hastened  to  look  for  Monsieur,  for  she  instinc- 
tively understood  that  he  had  been  far  too  long  kept  from 

358  TEN   TEARS   LATER. 

sharing  in  this  joy.  The  king  went  to  rejoin  the  queens; 
he  knew  he  owed  them — one  especially — a  compensation  for 
his  long  absence.  But  madame  was  not  admitted  to  Mon- 
sieur's apartments,  and  she  was  informed  that  Monsieur 
was  asleep.  The  king,  instead  of  being  met  by  Maria 
Theresa  ■'miling,  as  usual  with  her,  found  Anne  of  Austria 
in  the  gallery  watching  for  his  return,  who  advanced  to 
meet  him,  and  taking  him  by  the  hand,  led  him  to  her  own 
apartment.  No  one  ever  knew  what  was  the  nature  of  the 
conversation  which  took  place  between  them,  or  rather, 
what  it  was  that  the  queen-mother  had  said  to  Louis  XIV. ; 
but  it  certainly  might  easily  be  guessed  from  the  annoyed 
expression  of  the  king's  face  as  he  left  her  after  the  inter- 

But  we,  whose  mission  it  is  to  interpret  all  things,  as  it 
is  also  to  communicate  our  interpretations  to  our  readers — 
we  should  fail  in  our  duty  if  we  were  to  leave  them  in 
ignorance  of  the  result  of  this  interview.  It  will  be  found 
sufficiently  detailed,  at  least  we  hope  so,  in  the  following 



The  king,  on  retiring  to  his  apartments  to  give  some  direc- 
tions and  to  arrange  his  ideas,  found  on  his  toilet-glass  a 
small  note,  the  handwriting  of  which  seemed  disguised. 
He  opened  it  and  read: 

"Come  quickly;  I  have  a  thousand  things  to  say  to  you." 

The  king  and  madame  had  not  been  separated  a  suf- 
ficiently long  time  for  these  thousand  things  to  be  the 
result  of  the  three  thousand  which  they  had  been  saying  to 
each  other  during  the  route  which  separated  Valvins  from 
Fontainebleau.  The  confused  and  hurried  character  of  the 
note  gave  the  king  a  great  deal  to  reflect  upon.  He  occu- 
pied himself  but  slightly  with  his  toilet,  and  set  oft'  to  pay 
his  visit  to  madame.  The  princess,  who  did  not  wish  to 
have  the  appearance  of  expecting  him,  had  gone  into  the 
gardens  with  the  ladies  of  her  suite.  When  the  king  was 
informed  that  madame  had  left  her  apartments  and  had 
gone  for  a  walk  in  the  gardens,  he  collected  all  the  gentle- 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  259 

men  he  could  find,  and  invited  them  to  follow  him.  He 
found  madame  engaged  in  chasing  butterflies,  on  a  large 
lawn  bordered  with  heliotrope  and  flowering  broom.  She 
was  looking  on  as  the  most  adventurous  and  youngest  of 
her  ladies  ran  to  and  fro,  and  with  her  back  turned  to  a 
high  hedge,  very  impatiently  awaited  the  arrival  of  the 
king,  to  whom  she  had  given  the  rendezvous.  The  sound 
of  many  feet  upon  the  gravel-walk  made  her  turn  round. 
Louis  XIV.  was  bareheaded;  he  had  struck  down  with  his 
cane  a  peacock-butterfly,  which  M.  de  St.  Aignan  had 
picked  up  from  the  gr^ound,  quite  stunned. 

"You  see,  madame,"  said  the  king,  as  he  approached  her, 
"that  I,  too,  am  hunting  for  you;"  and  then,  turning  to- 
ward those  who  had  accompanied  him,  said,  "Gentlemen, 
see  if  each  of  you  cannot  obtain  as  much  for  these  ladies;" 
a  remark  which  was  a  signal  for  all  to  retire. 

And  thereupon  a  curious  spectacle  might  be  observed; 
old  and  corpulent  courtiers  were  seen  running  after  butter- 
flies, losing  their  hats  as  they  ran,  and  with  their  raised 
canes  cutting  down  the  myrtles  and  the  furze,  as  they 
would  have  done  the  Spaniards. 

The  king  offered  madame  his  arm,  and  they  both  selected, 
as  the  center  of  observation,  a  bench  with  a  roofing  of  moss, 
a  kind  of  hut  roughly  designed  by  the  modest  genius  of  one 
of  the  gardeners  who  had  inaugurated  the  picturesque  and 
fanciful  amid  the  formal  style  of  gardening  of  that  period. 
This  sheltered  retreat,  covered  with  nasturtiums  and  climb- 
ing roses,  screened  a  bench,  as  it  were,  so  that  the  specta- 
tors, insulated  in  the  middle  of  the  lawn,  saw  and  were  seen 
on  every  side,  but  could  not  be  heard,  without  perceiving 
those  who  might  approach  for  the  purpose  of  listening. 
Seated  thus,  the  king  made  a  sign  of  encouragement  to 
those  who  were  running  about;  and  then,  as  if  he  were 
engaged  with  madame  in  a  dissertation  upon  the  butterfly, 
which  he  had  thrust  through  with  a  gold  pin  and  fastened 
on  his  hat,  said  to  her: 

"How  admirably  we  are  placed  here  for  conversation." 

"Yes,  sire,  for  I  wished  to  be  heard  by  you  alone,  and  yet 
to  be  seen  by  every  one." 

"And  I  also,"  said  Louis. 

"My  note  surprised  you?" 

"Terrified  me,  rather.  But  what  I  have  to  tell  you  is 
more  important." 

"It  cannot  be,  sire.  Do  you  know  that  Monsieur  refuses 
to  see  me?" 

260  TEN   YEAES    LATER. 

"Why  SO?" 

"Can  yoii  not  guess  why?" 

*'Ah!  madame,  in  that  case  we  have  both  the  same  thing 
to  say  to  each  other." 

"What  has  happened  to  you,  then?" 

"You  wish  me  to  begin?" 

"Yes,  for  I  have  told  you  all." 

"Well,  then,  as  soon  as  I  returned,  I  found  my  mother 
waiting  for  me,  and  she  led  me  away  to  her  own  apart- 

"The  queen-mother?"  said  madame,  with  some  anxiety; 
"the  matter  is  serious,  then." 

"Indeed  it  is,  for  she  told  me — but,  in  the  first  place 
allow  me  to  preface  what  I  have  to  say  with  one  remark. 
Has  Monsieur  ever  spoken  to  you  about  me?" 


"Has  he  ever  spoken  to  you  about  his  jealousy?" 

"More  frequently  still/' 

"Of  his  jealousy  of  me?" 

"Fo;  but  of  the  Duke  of  Buckingham  and  De  Guiche." 

"Well,  madame.  Monsieur's  present  idea  is  a  jealousy  of 

"Eeallyl"  replied  the  princess,  smiling  archly. 

"And  it  really  seems  to  me,"  continued  the  king,  "that 
we  have  never  given  any  ground " 

"Never!  at  least,  I  have  not.  But  who  told  you  that 
Monsieur  was  jealous?" 

"My  mother  represented  to  me  that  Monsieur  entered 
her  apartments  like  a  madman,  that  he  had  uttered  a  thou- 
sand complaints  against  you,  and — forgive  me  for  saying  it 
— against  your  coquetry.  It  appears  that  Monsieur  indulges 
in  injustice,  too." 

"You  are  very  kind,  sire." 

"xvly  mother  reassured  him;  but  he  pretended  that  people 
reassure  him  too  often,  and  that  he  had  had  quite  enough 
of  it." 

"Would  it  not  be  better  for  him  not  to  make  himself 
uneasy  in  any  way?" 

"The  very  thing  I  said." 

"Confess,  sire,  tiiat  the  world  is  very  wicked.  Is  it  pos- 
sible that  a  brother  and  sister  cannot  converse  together,  or 
take  pleasure  in  each  other's  society,  without  giving  rise  to 
remarks  and  suspicions?  For,  indeed,  sire,  we  are  doing  no 
harm,  and  have  no  intention  of  doing  any." 

And  she  looked  at  the  king  with  that  proud  and  provok- 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  261 

ing  glance  which  kindles  desire  in  the  coldest  and  wisest  of 

"No!"  sighed  the  king;  "that  is  true." 

"You  know  very  well,  sire,  that  if  it  were  to  continue,  I 
should  be  obliged  to  make  a  disturbance.  Do  you  decide 
upon  our  conduct,  and  say  whether  it  has,  or  has  not,  been 
perfectly  correct." 

"Oh,  certainly,  perfectly  correct." 

"Often  alone  together — for  we  delight  in  the  same  things 
— we  might  possibly  be  led  into  error,  but  have  we  done  so? 
I  regard  you  as  a  brother,  and  nothing  more." 

The  king  frowned.     She  continued: 

"Your  hand,  which  often  meets  my  own,  does  not  excite 
in  me  that  agitation  and  emotion  which  is  the  case  with 
those  who  love  each  other,  for  instance " 

"Enough,"  said  the  king,  "enough,  I  entreat  you.  You 
have  no  pity — you  are  killing  me." 

"What  is  the  matter?" 

"In  fact,  then,  you  distinctly  say  you  experience  nothing 
when  near  me." 

"Oh,  sire  I  don't  say  that;  my  affection " 

"Enough,  Henrietta,  I  again  entreat  you.  If  you  believe 
me  to  be  marble,  as  you  are,  undeceive  yourself." 

"I  do  not  understand  you,  f'ire." 

"Very  well,"  sighed  the  king,  casting  down  his  eyes. 
"And  so  our  meetings,  the  pressure  of  each  other's  hands, 
the  looks  we  have  exchanged —  Yes,  yes;  you  are  right, 
and  I  understand  your  meaning;"  and  he  buried  his  face  in 
his  hands. 

"Take  care,  sire,  '  said  madame  hurriedly,  "Monsieur  de 
St.  Aignan  is  looking  pt  you." 

"Of  course,"  said  Louis  angrily;  "never  even  the  shadow 
of  liberty!  never  any  sincerity  in  my  intercourse  with  any 
one!  I  imagine  I  have  found  a  friend,  who  is  nothing  but 
a  spy;  a  dearer  friend,  who  is  only  a — sister!" 

Madame  was  silent,  and  cast  down  her  eyes. 

"My  husband  is  jealous,"  she  murmured,  in  a  tone  of 
which  nothing  could  equal  its  sweetness  and  its  charm. 

"You  are  right!"  exclaimed  the  king  suddenly. 

"You  see,"  she  said,  looking  at  him  in  a  manner  that  set 
his  heart  on  fire,  "you  are  free,  you  are  not  suspected,  the 
peace  of  your  house  is  not  disturbed." 

"Alas!"  said  the  king,  "as  yet  you  know  nothing,  for 
the  queen  is  jealous." 

"Maria  Theresa!" 

362  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

"Perfectly  mad  with  jealousy!  Monsieur's  Jealousy  arises 
from  hers;  she  was  weeping  and  complaining  to  my  mother, 
and  was  reproaching  us  for  those  bathing-parties,  which 
have  made  me  so  happy." 

"And  me,  too,"  answered  madame,  by  a  look. 

"When,  suddenly,"  continued  the  king,  "Monsieur,  who 
was  listening,  heard  the  word  lanos,  which  the  queen  pro- 
nounced with  some  degree  of  bitterness,  that  awakened  his 
attention;  he  entered  the  room,  looking  quite  wild,  broke 
into  the  conversation,  and  began  to  quarrel  with  my  mother 
so  bitterly  that  she  was  obliged  to  leave  him;  so  that,  while 
you  have  a  jealous  husband  to  deal  with,  I  shall  have  per- 
petually present  before  me  a  specter  of  jealousy  with  swollen 
eyes,  a  cadaverous  face,  and  sinister  looks." 

"Poor  king!"  murmured  madame,  as  she  lightly  touched 
the  king's  hand.  He  retained  her  hand  in  his,  and  in  order 
to  press  it  without  exciting  suspicion  in  the  spectators,  who 
were  not  so  much  taken  up  with  the  butterflies  that  they 
could  not  occupy  themselves  about  other  matters,  and  who 
perceived  clearly  enough  that  there  was  some  mystery  in  the 
king's  and  madame's  conversation,  Louis  placed  the  dying 
butterfly  before  his  sister-in-law,  and  both  bent  over  it  as  if 
to  count  the  thousand  eyes  of  its  wings,  or  the  particles  of 
golden  dust  which  covered  it.  Neither  of  them  spoke; 
however,  their  hair  mingled,  their  breath  united,  and  their 
hands  feverishly  throbbed  in  each  other's  grasp.  Fiva 
minutes  passed  by  in  this  manner. 



The  two  young  people  remained  for  a  moment  with  their 
heads  bent  down,  bowed,  as  it  were,  beneath  the  double 
thought  of  the  love  which  was  springing  up  in  their  hearts, 
and  which  gives  birth  to  so  many  happy  fancies  in  the 
imaginations  of  twenty  years  of  age.  Mme.  Henrietta  gave 
a  side-glance  from  time  to  time  at  the  king.  Hers  was  one 
of  those  finely  organized  natures  capable  of  looking  in- 
wardly at  itself  as  well  as  others  at  the  same  moment.  She 
perceived  Love  lying  at  the  bottom  of  Louis'  heart,  as  a 
skillful  diver  sees  a  pearl  at  the  bottom  of  the  sea.  She 
knew  Louis  was  hesitating,  if  not  in  doubt,  and  that  his 
indolent  or  timid  heart  required  aid  and  encouragement. 

TEX   YEARS    LATER.  263 

"Consequently?"  she  said  interrogatively,  breaking  the 

"What  do  you  mean?"  inquired  Louis,  after  a  moment's 

"I  mean  that  I  shall  be  obliged  to  return  to  the  resolu- 
tion I  had  formed." 

"To  what  resolution?" 

"To  that  which  I  have  already  submitted  to  your 


"On  the  very  day  we  had  a  certain  explanation  about 
Monsieur's  jealousies." 

"What  did  you  say  to  me  then?"  inquired  Louis,  with 
some  anxiety. 

"Do  you  not  remember,  sire?" 

"Alas!  if  it  be  another  cause  of  unhappiness,  I  shall 
recollect  it  soon  enough." 

"A  cause  of  unhappiness  for  myself  alone,  sire,"  replied 
Mme.  Henrietta;  "but  as  it  is  necessary,  I  must  submit  to 

"At  least,  tell  me  what  it  is,"  said  the  king. 


"Still  that  unkind  resolve?" 

"Believe  me,  sire,  I  have  not  formed  it  without  a  violent 
struggle  with  myself;  it  is  absolutely  necessary  I  should 
return  to  England." 

"Never,  never  will  I  permit  you  to  leave  France!"  ex- 
claimed the  king. 

"And  yet,  sire,"  said  madame,  affecting  a  gentle  yet 
sorrowful  determination,  "nothing  is  more  urgently  neces- 
sary; nay,  more  than  that,  I  am  persuaded  it  is  your 
mother's  desire  I  should  do  so." 

"Desire!"  exclaimed  the  king;  "that  is  a  very  strange 
expression  to  use  to  me." 

"Still,"  replied  Mme.  Henrietta  smilingly,  "are  you  not 
happy  in  submitting  to  the  wishes  of  so  good  a  mother?" 

"Enough,  I  implore  you;  you  read  my  very  soul." 


"Yes;  for  you  speak  of  your  departure  with  tranquillity." 

"I  was  not  born  for  happiness,  sire,"  replied  the  princess 
dejectedly;  "and  I  acquired,  in  very  early  life,  the  habit  of 
seeing  my  dearest  thoughts  disappointed." 

"Do  you  speak  truly?"  said  the  king.  "Would  your 
departure  gainsay  any  one  of  your  cherished  thoughts?" 

"If  I  were  to  say  'Yes,'  would  you  begin  to  take  your 
misfortune  patiently?" 

264  TEN    YEARS   LATER. 

**How  cruel  you  are!" 

''Take  care,  sire;  some  one  is  coming." 

The  king  looked  all  round  him,  and  said: 

"No,  there  is  no  one,"  and  then  continued:  ''Come, 
Henrietta,  instead  of  trying  to  contend  against  Monsieur's 
jealousy  by  a  departure  which  would  kill  me — "  Henrietta 
slightly  shrugged  her  shoulders  like  a  woman  unconvinced 
— "yes,"  repeated  Louis,  "which  would  kill  me,  I  say — 
instead  of  fixing  your  mind  on  this  departure,  does  not 
your  imagination — or,  rather,  does  not  your  heart — suggest 
some  expedient?" 

"What  is  it  you  wish  my  heart  to  suggest?" 

"Tell  me,  how  can  one  prove  to  another  that  it  is  wrong 
to  be  jealous?" 

"In  the  first  place,  sire,  by  giving  no  motive  for  jealousy; 
in  other  words,  in  loving  no  one  but  the  one  in  question." 

"Oh!  I  expected  better  than  that." 

"What  did  you  expect?" 

"That  you  would  simply  tell  me  that  jealous  people  are 
pacified  by  concealing  the  affection  which  is  entertained  for 
the  object  of  their  jealousy." 

"Dissimulation  is  difficult,  sire." 

"Yet  it  is  only  by  means  of  conquering  difficulties  that 
any  happiness  is  attained.  As  far  as  I  am  concerned,  I 
swear  I  will  give  the  lie  to  those  who  are  jealous  of  me  by 
pretending  to  treat  you  like  any  other  woman," 

"A  bad,  as  well  as  an  unsafe,  means,"  said  the  young 
princess,  shaking  her  pretty  head. 

"You  seem  to  think  everything  bad,  dear  Henrietta," 
said  Louis  discontentedly.  "You  destroy  everything  I 
propose.  Suggest,  at  least,  something  else  in  its  stead. 
Come,  try  and  think.  I  trust  implicitly  to  a  woman's  in- 
vention.    Do  you  invent  in  your  turn." 

"Well,  sire,  I  have  hit  upon  something.  Will  you  listen 
to  it?" 

"Can  you  ask  me?  You  speak  of  a  matter  of  life  or 
death  to  me,  and  then  ask  if  I  will  listen." 

"Well,. I  judge  of  it  by  my  own  case.  If  my  husband  in- 
tended to  put  me  on  theVrong  scent  with  regard  to  another 
woman,  one  thing  would  reassure  me  more  than  anything 

"What  would  that  be?" 

"In  the  first  place,  to  see  that  he  never  took  any  notice  of 
the  woman  in  question." 

"Exactly,     That  is  precisely  what  I  said  just  now." 

TEN"  YEARS   LATEE.  265 

"Very  well;  but  in  order  to  be  perfectly  reassured  on  the 
subject,  I  should  like  to  see  him  occupy  himself  with  some 
one  else." 

"Ah!  I  understand  you,"  replied  Louis,  smiling.  "But 
confess,  dear  Henrietta,  if  the  means  is  at  least  ingenious, 
it  is  hardly  charitable." 

"Why  so?" 

"In  curing  the  dread  of  a  wound  in  a  jealous  person's 
mind,  you  inflict  one  upon  the  heart.  His  fear  ceases,  it  is 
true;  but  the  evil  still  exists;  and  that  seems  to  me  to  be 
far  worse." 

"Agreed;  but  he  does  not  detect,  he  does  not  suspect  the 
real  enemy;  he  does  no  prejudice  to  love  itself;  he  concen- 
trates all  his  strength  on  the  side  where  his  strength  will  do 
no  injury  to  anything  or  any  one.  In  a  word,  sire,  my 
plan,  which  I  confess  I  am  surprised  to  find  you  dispute,  is 
mischievous  to  jealous  people,  it  is  true;  but  to  lovers  it  is 
full  of  advantage.  Besides,  let  me  ask,  sire,  who,  except 
yourself,  has  ever  thought  of  pitying  jealous  people?  Are 
they  not  a  melancholy  set  of  creatures,  always  equally  un- 
happy, whether  with  or  without  a  cause?  You  may  remove 
that  cause,  but  you  do  not  remove  their  sufferings.  It  is  a 
disease  which  lies  in  the  imagination,  and,  like  all  imaginary 
disorders,  it  is  incurable.  By  the  bye,  I  remember  an 
aphorism  upon  this  subject,  of  poor  Dr.  Dawley,  a  clever 
and  amusing  man,  who,  had  it  not  been  for  my  brother, 
who  could  not  do  without  him,  I  should  have  with  me  now. 
He  used  to  say,  'Whenever  you  are  likely  to  suffer  from  two 
affections,  choose  that  which  will  give  you  the  least  trouble, 
and  I  will  allow  you  to  retain  it;  for  it  is  positive,'  he  said, 
'that  that  very  one  is  of  the  greatest  service  to  me,  in  order 
to  enable  me  to  get  rid  of  the  other.'  " 

"Well  and  judiciously  remarked,  dear  Henrietta,"  replied 
the  king,  smiling. 

"Oh!  we  have  some  clever  people  in  London,  sire." 

"And  those  clever  people  produce  adorable  pupils.  I 
will  grant  this  Daley,  Darley,  Dawley,  or  whatever  you  call 
him,  a  pension  for  his  aphorism;  but  I  entreat  you,  Hen- 
rietta, to  begin  by  choosing  the  least  of  your  evils.  You  do 
not  answer — you  smile.  I  guess  that  the  least  of  your  evils 
is  your  stay  in  France.  I  will  allow  you  to  retain  this  mis- 
fortune; and,  in  order  to  begin  with  the  cure  of  the  other, 
I  will  this  very  day  begin  to  look  out  for  a  subject  which 
shall  divert  the  attention  of  the  jealous  members  of  either 
sex  who  persecute  us  both.^' 
DuiiAS — Vol.  XV.  12 

266  TEN   TEAES   LATER. 

"Hush!  this  time  some  one  is  really  coming/'  said  ma- 
dame;  and  she  stooped  down  to  gather  a  flower  from  the 
thick  grass  at  her  feet.  Some  one,  in  fact,  was  approach- 
ing; for  suddenly  a  bevy  of  young  girls  ran  down  from  the 
top  of  the  little  hillock,  following  the  cavaliers — the  cause 
of  this  irruption  being  a  magnificent  hawk-moth,  with  wings 
like  rose  leaves.  The  prey  in  question  had  fallen  into  the 
net  of  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente,  who  displayed  it  with 
some  pride  to  her  less  successful  rivals.  The  queen  of  the 
chase  had  seated  herself  some  twenty  paces  from  the  bank 
on  which  Louis  and  Mme.  Henrietta  were  reclining,  and 
leaned  her  back  against  a  magnificent  oak-tree  intwined 
with  ivy,  and  stuck  the  butterfly  on  the  long  cane  she  car- 
ried in  her  hand.  Mile,  de  Tonney-Charente  was  very- 
beautiful,  and  the  gentlemen,  accordingly,  deserted  her 
companions,  and,  under  the  pretext  of  complimenting  her 
upon  her  success,  pressed  in  a  circle  around  her.  The  king 
and  the  princess  looked  gloomily  at  this  scene,  as  spectators 
of  maturer  age  look  on  at  the  games  of  little  children. 

"They  seem  to  be  amusing  themselves  there,"  said  the 

"Greatly,  sire;  I  have  always  found  that  people  are 
amused  wherever  youth  and  beauty  are  to  be  found." 

"What  do  you  think  of  Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Charente, 
Henrietta?"  inquired  the  king. 

"I  think  she  is  rather  fair  in  complexion,"  replied  ma- 
dame,,  fixing  in  a  moment  upon  the  only  fault  it  was  possi- 
ble to  find  in  the  almost  perfect  beauty  of  the  future  Mme. 
de  Montespan. 

"Eather  fair,  yes;  but  beautiful,  I  think,  in  spite  of 

"Is  that  your  opinion,  sire?" 

"Yes,  really." 

"Very  well;  and  it  is  mine,  too." 

"And  she  seems  to  be  much  sought  after,  too." 

"Oh,  that  is  a  matter  of  course.  Lovers  flutter  from  one 
to  another.  If  we  had  hunted  for  lovers  instead  of  butter- 
flies, you  can  see,  from  those  who  surround  her,  what  suc- 
cessful sport  we  should  have  had." 

"Tell  me,  Henrietta,  what  would  be  said  if  the  king 
were  to  make  himself  one  of  those  lovers  and  let  his  glance 
fall  in  that  direction?  Would  some  one  else  be  jealous,  in 
such  a  case?" 

"Oh,  sire.  Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Charente  is  a  very 
efficacious  remedy,"   said    madame,    with    a    sigh.     "She 

TEN   YEAES   LATER.  267 

would  cure  a  jealous  man,  certainly;  but  she  might  possibly 
make  a  woman  jealous,  too." 

"Henrietta,"  exclaimed  Louis,  "you  fill  my  heart  with  joy. 
Yes,  yes;  Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Charente  is  far  too  beau- 
tiful to  serve  as  a  cloak." 

"A  king's  cloak  ought  to  be  beautiful." 

"Do  you  advise  me  to  do  it,  then  ?"  inquired  Louis. 

"I !  what  should  I  say,  sire,  except  that  to  give  such  an  ad- 
vice would  be  to  supply  arms  against  myself.  It  would  be 
folly  or  pride  to  advise  you  to  take,  for  the  heroine  of  an 
assumed  affection,  a  woman  more  beautiful  than  the  one  for 
whom  you  pretend  to  feel  real  regard." 

The  king  tried  to  take  madame's  hand  in  his  own ;  his  eyes 
sought  hers;  and  then  he  murmured  a  few  words  so  full  of 
tenderness,  but  pronounced  in  so  low  a  tone,  that  the  historian, 
who  ought  to  hear  everything,  could  not  hear  them.  Then, 
speaking  aloud,  he  said : 

"Do  you,  yourself,  choose  for  me  the  one  who  is  to  cure  our 
jealous  friend.  To  her,  then,  all  my  devotion,  all  my  atten- 
tion, all  the  time  that  I  can  spare  from  my  occupations,  shall 
be  devoted.  For  her  shall  be  the  flower  that  I  may  pluck  for 
you,  the  fond  thoughts  with  which  you  have  inspired  me.  To- 
ward her,  the  glance  that  I  dare  not  bestow  upon  you,  and 
which  ought  to  be  able  to  arouse  you  from  your  indifference. 
But  be  careful  in  your  selection,  lest,  in  offering  her  the  rose 
which  I  may  have  plucked  I  should  find  myself  conquered  by 
yourself;  and  lest  my  looks,  my  hand,  my  lips,  should  not 
turn  immediately  toward  you,  even  were  the  whole  world  to 
guess  my  secret." 

While  these  words  escaped  from  the  king's  lips,  in  a  stream 
of  wild  affection,  madame  blushed,  breathless,  happy,  proud, 
almost  intoxicated  with  delight.  She  could  find  nothing  to 
say  in  reply ;  her  pride  and  her  thirst  for  homage  were  satisfied. 

"I  shall  fail,"  she  said,  raising  her  beautiful  black  eyes, 
'Tjut  not  as  you  beg  me,  for  all  this  incense  which  you  wish 
to  burn  on  the  altar  of  another  divinity.  Ah !  sire,  I,  too, 
shall  be  jealous  of  it,  and  want  it  to  be  restored  to  me,  and 
would  not  wish  that  a  particle  of  it  should  be  lost  in  the  way. 
Therefore,  sire,  with  your  royal  permission,  I  will  choose  one 
who  shall  appear  to  me  the  least  likely  to  distract  your  atten- 
tion, and  who  will  leave  my  image  pure  and  unsullied  in  your 

"Happily  for  me,"  said  the  king,  "your  heart  is  not  hard 


and  unfeeling.  If  it  were  so,  I  should  be  alarmed  at  the 
tlu-eat  you  hold  out;  our  precautions  have  been  taken  on  this 
point,  and  around  you,  as  around  myself,  it  would  be  diffi- 
cult to  meet  with  a  disagreeable-looking  face," 

While  the  king  was  speaking,  madanie  had  risen  from  her 
seat,  looked  around  the  greensward,  and  after  a  careful  and 
silent  examination,  she  called  the  king  to  her  side,  and  said: 

"See  yonder,  sire,  upon  the  declivity  of  that  little  hill,  near 
that  group  of  Guelder  roses,  that  beautiful  girl  walking  alone, 
her  head  down,  her  arms  hanging  by  her  side,  with  her  eyes 
fixed  upon  the  flowers,  which  she  crushes  beneath  her  feet,  like 
one  who  is  lost  in  thought." 

"Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere,  do  you  mean  ?" 


"Oh !" 

"Will  she  not  suit  ycu,  sire?" 

"Why,  look  how  thin  the  poor  child  is.  She  has  hardly 
any  flesh  upon  her  bones." 

"Nay;  am  I  stout,  then?" 

"She  is  so  melancholy." 

"The  greater  contrast  to  myself,  who  am  accused  of  being 
too  lively." 

"She  is  lame." 

"Do  you  think  so?" 

"No  doubt  of  it.  Look;  she  has  allowed  every  one  to 
pass  by  her,  from  the  fear  of  her  defect  being  remarked." 

"Well,  she  will  not  run  so  fast  as  Daphne,  and  will  not 
be  able  to  escape  Apollo." 

"Henrietta,"  said  the  king,  out  of  temper,  "of  all  your 
maids  of  honor,  you  have  really  selected  for  me  the  one  most 
full  of  defects." 

"Still  she  is  one  of  my  maids  of  honor." 

"Of  course ;  but  what  do  you  mean  ?" 

"I  mean  that,  in  order  to  visit  this  new  divinity,  you  will 
not  be  able  to  do  so  without  paying  a  visit  to  my  apartments, 
and  that,  as  propriety  will  forbid  your  conversing  with  her 
in  private,  you  will  be  compelled  to  see  her  in  my  circle,  to 
speak  to  me  while  speaking  to  her.  I  mean,  in  fact,  that 
those  who  may  be  jealous  will  be  wrong  if  they  suppose  you 
come  to  my  apartments  for  my  sake,  since  you  will  come 
there  for  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere." 

"Who  happens  to  be  lame." 

"Hardlv  that." 

TEN   YEARS   LATEB.  269 

"Who  never  opens  her  lips." 

"But  who,  when  she  does  open  them,  displays  a  beautiful 
set  of  teeth." 

"Who  may  serve  as  a  model  for  an  osteologist." 

"Your  favor  will  change  her  appearance." 

"Henrietta !" 

"At  all  events,  you  have  allowed  me  to  be  the  mistress." 

"Alas !  yes." 

"Well,  my  choice  is  made ;  I  impose  her  upon  you,  and  you 
must  submit." 

"Oh!  I  would  accept  one  of  the  furies,  if  you  were  to  in- 
sist upon  it." 

"La  Valliere  is  as  gentle  as  a  lamb;  do  not  fear  she  will 
ever  contradict  you  when  you  tell  her  you  love  her." 

"You  are  not  afraid  that  I  shall  say  too  much  to  her?" 

"It  would  be  for  my  sake." 

"The  treaty  is  agreed  to,  then  ?" 

"And  signed." 

"You  will  continue  to  show  me  the  friendship  of  a  brother, 
the  attention  of  a  brother,  the  gallantry  of  a  monarch,  will  you 

"I  will  preserve  for  you  a  heart  which  has  already  become 
accustomed  to  beat  only  at  your  command." 

"Very  well;  do  you  not  see  how  we  have  guaranteed  the 
future  b}^  this  means  ?" 

"I  hope  so." 

"Will  your  mother  cease  to  regard  me  as  an  enemy?" 


'^ill  Maria  Theresa  leave  off  speaking  in  Spanish  before 
Monsieur,  who  has  a  horror  of  conversation  held  in  foreign 
languages,  because  he  always  thinks  he  is  being  ill-spoken  of  ? 
and,  lastly,"  continued  the  princess,  "will  people  persist  in 
attributing  a  wrongful  affection  to  the  king,  when  the  truth  is, 
we  can  be  nothing  to  each  other,  except  such  as  may  arise  from 
sympathy,  free  f^-om  all  mental  reservation?" 

"Yes,  yes,"  s.^ia  the  king  hesitatingly.  "But  yet  other 
things  may  still  be  said  of  us." 

"What  can  be  said,  sire?  Shall  we  never  be  left  in  tran- 

"People  will  say  I  am  deficient  in  taste;  but  what  is  my 
self-respect  in  comparison  with  your  tranquillity?" 

"In  comparison   with  my  honor,   sire,   and  that   of   our 

270  TEN    TEARS    LATER. 

family,  you  mean.  Besides,  believe  me,  do  not  be  so  hastily 
prejudiced  against  La  Valliere.  She  is  lame,  it  is  true,  but 
she  is  not  deficient  in  good  sense.  Moreover,  all  that  the 
king  touches  is  converted  into  gold." 

"Well,  madame,  be  assured  of  one  tiring,  namely,  that  I 
am  still  grateful  to  you;  you  might  even  yet  make  me  pay 
dearer  for  your  stay  in  France." 

"Sire,  some  one  approaches." 

"Well !" 

"One  last  word." 

"Say  it." 

"You  are  prudent  and  judicious,  sire;  but  in  the  present 
instance  you  will  be  obliged  to  summon  to  your  aid  all  your 
prudence  and  all  your  judgment." 

"Oh !"  exclaimed  Louis,  laughing,  "from  this  very  even- 
ing I  shall  begin  to  act  my  part,  and  you  shall  see  whether 
I  am  not  quite  fit  to  represent  the  character  of  a  tender 
swain.  After  luncheon  there  will  be  a  promenade  in  the 
forest,  and  then  there  is  supper  and  the  ballet  at  ten  o'clock." 

"I  know  it." 

"The  ardor  of  my  passion  shall  blaze  more  brilliantly  than 
the  fireworks,  shall  shine  more  steadily  than  the  lamps  of  our 
friend  Colbert;  it  shall  shine  so  dazzlingly  that  the  queens 
and  Monsieur  shall  be  almost  blinded  by  it." 

"Take  care,  sire,  take  care." 

"In  Heaven's  name,  what  have  I  done,  then?" 

"I  shall  begin  to  recall  the  compliments  I  paid  you  just 
now.  You  prudent !  you  wise,  did  I  say  ?  why,  you  begin  by 
the  most  reckless  inconsistencies !  Can  a  passion  be  kindled 
in  this  manner,  like  a  torch,  in  a  moment?  Can  a  monarch, 
such  as  you  are,  without  any  preparation,  fall  at  the  feet  of  a 
girl  like  La  Valliere?" 

"Ah !  Henrietta,  now  I  understand  you.  We  have  not  yet 
begun  the  campaign,  and  you  are  plundering  me  already." 

"No;  I  am  only  recalling  you  to  common-sense  ideas. 
Let  your  passion  be  kindled  gradually,  instead  of  allowing 
it  to  burst  forth  so  suddenly.  Jove's  thunders  and  light- 
nings are  heard  and  seen  before  the  palace  is  set  on  fire. 
Everything  has  its  commencement.  If  you  are  so  easily  ex- 
cited, no  one  will  believe  you  are  really  captivated,  and  every 
one  will  think  you  out  of  your  senses — unless,  indeed,  the  truth 
itself  be  not  guessed.  People  are  not  always  so  foolish  as 
they  seem." 

TEN"    YEAKS   LATER.  271 

The  king  was  obliged  to  admit  that  madame  was  an  angel 
for  sense,  and  the  very  reverse  for  cleverness.  He  bowed, 
and  said: 

"Agreed,  madame;  I  will  think  over  my  plan  of  attack. 
Great  military  men — my  cousin  De  Conde,  for  instance — 
grow  pale  in  meditation  upon  their  strategical  plans  before 
they  move  one  of  the  pawns,  which  people  call  armies;  I 
therefore  wish  to  draw  up  a  complete  plan  of  attack,  for 
you  know  that  the  tender  passion  is  subdivided  in  a  variety 
of  ways.  Well,  then,  I  shall  stop  at  the  village  of  Little 
Attentions,  at  the  hamlet  of  Love  Letters,  before  I  follow 
the  road  of  Visible  Affection;  the  way  is  clear  enough,  you 
know,  and  poor  Madame  de  Scudery  would  never  forgive 
me  for  passing  through  a  halting-place  without  stopping." 

"Ah!  now  we  have  returned  to  our  proper  senses,  shall 
we  say  adieu,  sire?" 

"Alas!  it  must  be  so,  for,  see,  we  are  interrupted." 

"Yes,  indeed,"  said  Mme.  Henrietta;  "they  are  bringing 
Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Charente  and  her  sphinx  butterfly 
in  grand  procession  this  way." 

"It  is  perfectly  well  understood,  then,  that  this  evening, 
during  the  promenade,  I  am  to  make  my  escape  into  the 
forest,  and  find  La  Valliere  without  you." 

"I  will  take  care  to  send  her  away." 

"Very  well;  I  will  speak  to  her  when  she  is  with  her 
companions,  and  I"  will  then  discharge  my  first  arrow  at 

"Be  skillful,"  said  madame,  laughing,  "and  do  not  miss 
the  heart." 

And  the  princess  took  leave  of  the  king,  and  went  for- 
ward to  meet  the  merry  troop,  which  was  advancing  with 
much  ceremony,  and  a  great  many  pretended  fiourishes  of 
trumpets,  which  they  imitated  with  their  mouths. 



At  the  conclusion  of  the  banquet,  which  had  been  served 
at  five  o'clock,  the  king  entered  his  cabinet,  where  his 
tailors  were  awaiting  him,  for  the  jjurpose  of  trying  on  the 
celebrated  costume  representing  Spring,  which  was  the  re- 
sult of  so  much  imagination,  and  had  cost  so  many  efforts 

272  TEX    YEARS   LATER. 

of  thought  to  the  designers  and  ornament-workers  of  the  ■ 
court.  As  for  the  ballet  itself,  every  person  knew  the  part 
he  had  to  take  in  it,  and  how  to  perform  that  part.  -The 
king  had  resolved  to  make  it  a  matter  of  surj)rise.  Hardly, 
therefore,  had  he  finished  his  conference,  and  entered  his 
own  apartment,  than  he  desired  his  two  masters  of  the 
ceremonies,  Villeroy  and  St.  Aignan,  to  be  sent  for.  Both 
replied  that  they  only  awaited  his  orders,  and  that  every- 
thing was  ready  to  begin,  but  that  it  was  necessary  to  insure 
fine  weather  and  a  favorable  night  before  these  orders  could 
be  carried  out.  The  king  opened  his  window;  the  golden 
hues  of  evening  could  be  seen  in  the  horizon  through  the 
vistas  of  the  wood,  and  the  moon,  white  as  snow,  was 
already  visible  in  the  heavens.  Not  a  ripple  could  be 
noticed  on  the  surface  of  the  green  waters;  the  swans  them- 
selves, even,  reposing  with  folded  wings  like  ships  at  anchor, 
seemed  penetrated  by  the  warmth  of  the  air,  the  freshness  of 
the  water,  and  the  silence  of  the  beautiful  evening.  The 
king,  having  observed  all  these  things,  and  contemplated 
the  magnificent  picture  before  him,  gave  the  order  which 
De  Villeroy  and  De  St.  Aignan  awaited;  but,  with  the  view 
of  insuring  the  execution  of  this  order  in  a  royal  manner, 
one  last  question  was  necessary,  and  Louis  XIV.  put  it  to 
the  two  gentlemen  in  the  following  manner: 

"Have  you  any  money?" 

'"Sire,"  replied  St.  Aignan,  "we  haVe  arranged  every- 
thing with  Monsieur  Colbert." 

"Ah!  very  well." 

"Yes,  sire,  and  Monsieur  Colbert  said  he  would  wait 
upon  your  majesty  as  soon  as  your  majesty  should  manifest 
an  intention  of  carrying  out  the  fetes,  of  which  he  has 
furnished  the  programme." 

"Let  him  come  in,  then,"  said  the  king;  and  as  if  Col- 
bert had  been  listening  at  the  door  for  the  purpose  of  keep- 
ing himself  mo  courant  of  the  conversation,  he  entered  as 
soon  as  the  king  had  pronounced  his  name  before  the  two 

"Ah!  Monsieur  Colbert,"  said  the  king.  "Gentlemen, 
to  your  posts;"  whereupon  St.  Aignan  and  Villeroy  took 
their  leave.  The  king  seated  himself  in  an  easy-chair  near 
the  window,  saying: 

"The  ballet  will  take  place  this  evening.  Monsieur 

"In  that  case,  sire,  I  settle  the  accounts  to-morrow." 

"Why  so?" 

TEN   YEAKS    LATER.  273 

"I  promised  the  trades-people  to  pay  their  bills  the  fol- 
lowing day  to  that  on  which  the  ballet  should  take  place." 

"Very  well,  Monsieur  Colbert,  pay  them,  since  you  have 
promised  to  do  so." 

"Certainly,  sire;  but  I  must  have  money  to  do  that." 

"What!  have  not  the  four  millions,  which  Monsieur  Fou- 
quet  promised,  been  sent?  I  had  forgotten  to  ask  you 
about  it." 

"Sire,  they  were  sent  at  the  hour  promised." 


"Well,  sire,  the  colored  lamps,  the  fireworks,  the  musi- 
cians, and  the  cooks,  have  swallowed  up  four  millions  in 
eight  days." 


"To  the  last  penny.  Every  time  your  majesty  directed 
the  banks  of  the  grand  canal  to  be  illuminated,  as  much  oil 
was  consumed  as  there  was  water  in  the  basins." 

"Well,  well.  Monsieur  Colbert;  the  fact  is,  then,  you 
have  no  more  money?" 

"I  have  no  more,  sire,  but  Monsieur  Fouquet  has,"  Col- 
bert replied,  his  face  darkening  with  a  sinister  expression 
of  pleasure. 

"What  do  you  mean?"  inquired  Louis. 

"We  have  already  made  Monsieur  Fouquet  advance  six 
millions.  He  has  given  them  with  too  much  grace  not  to 
have  others  still  to  give,  if  they  are  required,  which  is  the 
case  at  the  present  moment.  It  is  necessary,  therefore, 
that  he  should  comply." 

The  king  frowned. 

"Monsieur  Colbert,"  said  he,  accentuating  the  financier's 
name,  "that  is  not  the  way  I  understood  the  matter;  T  do 
not  wish  to  make  use,  against  any  of  my  servants,  of  a 
means  of  pressure  which  may  oppress  him  and  fetter  his 
services.  In  eight  days  Monsieur  Fouquet  has  furnished 
six  millions;  that  is  a  good  sum." 

Colbert  turned  pale. 

"And  yet,"  he  said,  "your  majesty  did  not  use  this 
language  some  time  ago,  when  the  news  about-  Belle-Isle 
arrived,  for  instance." 

"You  are  right.  Monsieur  Colbert." 

"Nothing,  however,  has  changed  since  then;  on  the  con- 
trary, indeed." 

"In  my  thoughts,  monsieur,  everything  is  changed," 

"Does  your  majesty,  then,  no  longer  believe  the  at- 


'•My  own  affairs  concern  me  alone,  monsieur;  and  I  have 
already  told  you  I  transact  them  myself." 

"Then,  I  perceive,"  said  Colbert,  trembling  from  anger 
and  from  fear,  "that  I  have  had  the  misfortune  to  fall  into 
disgrace  with  your  majesty." 

"Not  at  all;  you  are,  on  the  contrary,  most  agreeable  to 

"Yet,  sire,"  said  the  minister,  with  a  certain  affected 
bluntness,  so  successful  when  it  was  a  question  of  flattering 
Louis'  self-esteem,  "what  use  is  there  in  being  agreeable 
to  your  majesty,  if  one  can  no  longer  be  of  any  use  to  you?" 

"I  reserve  your  services  for  a  better  occasion;  and,  be- 
lieve me,  they  will  only  be  the  better  appreciated." 

"Your  majesty's  plan,  then,  in  this  affair,  is " 

"You  want  money.  Monsieur  Colbert?" 

"Seven  hundred  thousand  francs,  sire." 

"You  will  take  them  from  my  private  treasure."  Col- 
bert bowed.  "And,"  added  Louis,  "as  it  seems  a  difficult 
matter  for  you,  notwithstanding  your  economy,  to  defray, 
with  so  limited  a  sum,  the  expenses  which  I  intend  to  incur, 
I  will  at  once  sign  an  order  for  three  millions." 

The  king  took  a  pen  and  signed  an  order  immediately, 
then  handed  it  to  Colbert. 

"Be  satisfied.  Monsieur  Colbert,  the  plan  I  have  adopted 
is  one  worthy  of  a  king,"  said  Louis  XIV.,  who  pronounced 
these  words  with  all  the  majesty  he  knew  how  to  assume  in 
such  circumstances;  and  he  dismissed  Colbert  for  the  pur- 
pose of  giving  an  audience  to  his  tailors. 

The  order  issued  by  the  king  was  known  in  the  whole  of 
Fontainebleau;  it  was  already  known,  too,  that  the  king 
was  trying  on  his  costume,  and  that  the  ballet  would  be 
danced  in  the  evening.  The  news  circulated  with  the 
rapidity  of  lightning;  during  its  progress  it  kindled  every 
variety  of  coquetry,  desire,  and  wild  ambition.  At  the 
same  moment,  as  if  by  enchantiflent,  every  one  who  knew 
how  to  hold  a  needle,  every  one  who  could  distinguish  a 
coat  from  a  pair  of  trousers,  was  summoned  to  the  assist- 
ance of  those  who  had  received  invitation.  The  king  had 
completed  his  toilet  at  nine  o'clock;  he  appeared  in  an  open 
carriage  decorated  with  branches  of  trees  and  flowers.  The 
queens  had  taken  their  seats  upon  a  magnificent  dais,  or 
platform,  erected  upon  the  borders  of  the  lake,  in  a  theater 
of  wonderful  elegance  of  construction.  In  the  space  of  five 
hours  the  carpenters  had  put  together  all  the  different  parts 
connected  with  the  theater;  the  upholsterers  had  laid  down 

TEN"    YEARS   LATER.  275 

the  carpets,  erected  the  seats;  and,  as  if  at  the  signal  of  an 
enchanter's  wand,  a  thousand  arms,  aiding,  instead  of  in- 
terfering with  one  another,  had  constructed  the  building  on 
this  spot  amid  the  sound  of  music;  while,  at  the  same  time, 
other  workmen  illuminated  the  theater  and  the  shores  of 
the  lake  with  an  incalculable  number  of  lamps.  As  the 
heavens,  set  with  stars,  were  perfectly  unclouded,  as  not 
even  a  breath  of  air  could  be  heard  in  the  woods,  and  as  if 
Nature  itself  had  yielded  complacently  to  the  king's  fancies, 
the  back  of  the  theater  had  been  left  open;  so  that  behind 
the  foreground  of  the  scenes  could  be  seen  as  a  background 
the  beautiful  sky  glittering  with  stars;  the  sheet  of  water, 
illumined  by  the  lights  which  were  reflected  in  it,  and  the 
bluish  outline  of  the  grand  masses  of  Avoods,  with  their 
rounded  tops.  When  the  king  made  his  appearance  the 
whole  theater  was  full,  and  presented  to  the  view  one  vast 
group  dazzling  with  gold  and  precious  stones;  in  which, 
however,  at  the  first  glance,  no  one  single  face  could  be 
distinguished.  By  degrees,  as  the  sight  became  accustomed 
to  so  much  brilliancy,  the  rarest  beauties  appeared  to  the 
view,  as  in  the  evening  sky  the  stars  appear  one  by  one  to 
him  who  closes  his  eyes  and  then  opens  them  again. 

The  theater  represented  a  grove  of  trees;  a  few  fawns 
lifting  up  their  cloven  feet  were  jumping  about;  a  dyrad 
made  her  appearance  on  the  scene,  and  was  immediately 
pursued  by  them;  others  gathered  round  her  for  her  de- 
fense, and  they  quarreled  as  they  danced.  Suddenly,  for 
the  purpose  of  restoring  peace  and  order.  Spring,  accom- 
panied by  his  whole  court,  made  his  appearance.  The 
Elements,  the  subaltern  powers  of  mythology,  together 
with  their  attributes,  precipitated  themselves  upon  the  trace 
of  their  gracious  sovereign.  The  Seasons,  the  allies  of 
Spring,  followed  him  closely,  to  form  a  quadrille,  which, 
after  many  words  of  more  or  less  flattering  import,  was  the 
commencement  of  the  dance.  The  music,  hautboys,  flutes, 
and  viols,  were  descriptive  of  the  rural  delights.  The  king 
liad  already  made  his  appearance,  amid  thunders  of  applause. 
He  was  dressed  in  a  tunic  of  flowers,  which  set  off  his  easy 
and  well-formed  figure  to  advantage.  His  legs,  the  best- 
shaped  at  the  court,  were  also  displayed  to  great  advantage 
in  iiesh-colored  silken  hose,  of  silk  so  fine  and  so  transparent 
that  it  seemed  almost  like  flesh  itelf.  The  most  beautiful 
pale-lilac  satin  shoes,  with  bows  of  flowers  and  leaves,  im- 
prisoned his  small  feet.  The  bust  of  the  figure  was  in 
harmonious  keeping  with  the  base;  the  waving  hair  was  float- 


ing  on  his  shoulders,  the  freshness  of  his  complexion  was 
enhanced  by  the  brilliancy  of  his  beautiful  blue  eyes,  which 
softly  kindled  all  hearts;  a  mouth  with  tempting  lips, 
which  deigned  to  open  in  smiles.  Such  was  the  prince  of 
the  period,  who  had  that  evening  been  justly  named  "The 
King  of  all  the  Loves."  There  was  something  in  his  car- 
riage which  resembled  the  buoyant  movements  of  an 
immortal,  and  he  did  not  dance  so  much  as  seem  to  soar 
along.  His  entrance  had  produced,  therefore,  the  most 
brilliant  effect.  Suddenly  the  Comte  de  St.  Aignan  was 
observed  endeavoring  to  approach  either  the  king  or 

The  princess — who  was  clothed  in  a  long  dress,  diaphanous 
and  light  as  the  finest  network  tissue  from  the  hands  of  the 
skillful  Mechlin  workers,  her  knee  occasionally  revealed 
beneath  the  folds  of  the  tunic,  and  her  little  feet  incased  in 
silken  shoes — advanced  radiant  with  beauty,  accompanied 
by  her  cortege  of  Baccliantes,  and  had  already  reached  the 
spot  which  had  been  assigned  to  her  in  the  dance.  The 
applause  continued  so  long  that  the  comte  had  ample  leisure 
to  join  the  king. 

"What  is  the  matter,  St.  Aignan?"  said  Spring. 

"Nothing  whatever,"  replied  the  courtier,  as  pale  as 
death;  "but  your  majesty  has  not  thought  of  the  Fruits." 

"Yes;  it  is  suppressed," 

"Far  from  it,  sire;  your  majesty  having  given  no  direc- 
tions about  it,  the  musicians  have  retained  it." 

"How  excessively  annoying!"  said  the  king.  "This 
figure  cannot  be  performed,  since  Monsieur  de  Guiche  is 
absent.     It  must  be  suppressed." 

"Oh,  sire,  a  quarter  of  an  hour's  music  without  any 
dancing  will  produce  an  effect  so  chilling  as  to  ruin  the  suc- 
cess of  the  ballet." 

"But,  comte,  since " 

"Oh,  sire,  that  is  not  the  greatest  misfortune;  for,  after 
all,  the  orchestra  could  still  just  as  well  cut  it  out,  if  it  were 
necessary;  but " 

"But  what?" 

"Why,  Monsieur  de  Guiche  is  here." 

"Here?"  replied  the  king,  frowning,  "here?  Are  you 

"Yes,  sire;  and  ready-dressed  for  the  ballet." 

The  king  felt  himself  color  deeply,  and  said: 

"You  are  probably  mistaken." 

"So  little  is  that  the  case,  sire,  that  if  your  majesty  will 
look  to  the  right  you  will  see  that  the  comte  is  waiting." 

TEN   YEARS   LATER.  277 

Louis  turned  hastily  toward  the  side,  and,  in  fact,  on  his 
right,  brilliant  in  his  character  of  Autumn,  De  Guiche 
awaited  until  the  king  should  look  at  him,  in  order  that  he 
might  address  him.  To  describe  the  stupefaction  of  the 
king,  that  of  Monsieur,  who  was  moving  about  restlessly  in 
his  box — to  describe  also  the  agitated  movement  of  the 
heads  in  the  theater,  and  the  strange  emotion  of  madame 
at  the  sight  of  her  partner — is  a  task  we  must  leave  to  more 
able  hands.  The  king  stood  almost  gaping  with  astonish- 
ment as  he  looked  at  the  comte,  who,  bowing  lowly, 
approached  his  majesty  with  the  profoundest  respect. 

"Sire,"  he  said,  "your  majesty's  most  devoted  servant  ap- 
proaches to  perform  a  service  on  this  occasion  with  similar 
zeal  to  that  he  has  already  shown  on  the  field  of  battle. 
Your  majesty,  in  omitting  the  dance  of  the  Fruits,  would 
'be  losing  the  most  beautiful  scene  in  the  ballet.  I  did  not 
wish  to  be  the  cause  of  so  great  a  prejudice  to  your  majesty's 
elegance,  skill,  and  graceful  address;  and  I  have  left  my 
tenants  in  order  to  place  my  services  at  your  majesty's 

Every  word  fell  distinctly,  in  perfect  harmony  and  elo- 
quence, upon  Louis  XIV. 's  ears.  Their  flattery  pleased, 
as  much  as  De  Guiche's  courage  had  astonished  him,  and  he 
simply  replied: 

"I  did  not  tell  you  to  return,  comte." 

"Certainly  not,  sire;  but  your  majesty  did  not  tell  me  to 

The  king  perceived  that  time  was  passing  away,  that  if 
the  scene  were  prolonged  it  might  complicate  every- 
thing, and  that  a  single  cloud  upon  the  picture  would 
effectually  spoil  the  whole.  Besides,  the  king's  heart  was 
filled  with  two  or  three  new  ideas;  he  had  just  derived  fresh 
inspiration  from  the  eloquent  glances  of  madame.  Her 
look  had  said  to  him,  "Since  they  are  jealous  of  you,  divide 
their  suspicions,  for  the  man  who  distrusts  two  rivals  does 
not  distrust  either  in  particular."  So  that  madame,  by 
this  clever  diversion,  decided  him.  The  king  smiled  upon 
De  Guiche,  who  did  not  comprehend  a  word  of  madame's 
dumb  language,  but  only  remarked  that  she  pretended  not 
to  look  at  him,  and  he  attributed  the  pardon  which  had 
been  conferred  upon  him  to  the  princess'  kindness  of  heart. 
The  king  seemed  pleased  with  every  one  present.  Monsieur 
was  the  only  one  who  did  not  understand  anything  about 
the  matter.  The  ballet  began;  the  effect  was  more  than 
beautiful.     When  the  music,  by  its  bursts  of  melody,  carried 

278  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

away  these  illustrious  dancers,  when  the  simple,  untutored 
pantomime  of  that  period,  far  more  so  on  account  of  the 
very  indifferent  acting  of  the  august  actors,  had  reached  its 
culminating  point  of  triumph,  the  theater  almost  shook 
with  the  tumultuous  applause. 

De  Guiche  shone  like  a  sun,  but  like  a  courtly  sun,  which 
is  resigned  to  fill  a  subordinate  part.  Disdainful  of  a  suc- 
cess of  which  madame  showed  no  acknowledgment,  he 
thought  of  nothing  but  of  boldly  regaining  the  marked 
preference  of  the  princess.  She,  however,  did  not  bestow  a 
single  glance  upon  him.  By  degrees  all  his  happiness,  all 
his  brilliancy,  subsided  into  regret  and  uneasiness;  so  that 
his  limbs  lost  their  power,  his  arms  hung  heavily  by  his 
side,  and  his  head  seemed  stupefied.  The  king,  who  had 
from  this  moment  become  in  reality  the  principal  dancer  in 
the  quadrille,  cast  a  look  upon  his  vanquished  rival.  De 
Guiche  soon  ceased  to  sustain  even  the  character  of  the 
courtier;  without  applause,  he  danced  indifferently,  and 
very  soon  could  not  dance  at  all,  by  which  means  the 
triumph  of  the  king  and  of  madame  was  assured. 



The  king  remained  for  a  moment  to  enjoy  a  triumph 
which  was  as  complete  as  it  could  possibly  be.  He  then 
turned  toward  madame,  for  the  purpose  of  admiring  her 
also  a  little  in  her  turn.  Young  persons  love  with  more 
vivacity,  perhaps  with  greater  ardor  and  deeper  passion, 
than  others  more  advanced  in  years;  but  all  the  other  feel- 
ings are  at  the  same  time  developed  in  proportion  to  their 
youth  and  vigor;  so  that  vanity  being  with  them  almost  always 
the  equivalent  of  love,  the  latter  feeling,  according  to  the 
laws  of  equipoise,  never  attains  that  degree  of  perfection 
which  it  acquires  in  men  and  women  from  thirty  to  thirty- 
five  years  of  age.  Louis  thought  of  madame,  but  only  after 
he  had  carefully  thought  of  himself:  and  madame  care- 
fully thought  of  herself,  without  bestowing  a  single  thought 
upon  the  king.  The  victim,  however,  of  all  these  royal 
affections  and  vanities  was  poor  De  Guiche.  Every  one 
could  observe  his  agitation  and  prostration — a  prostration 
which  was,  indeed,  the  more  remarkable  since  people  were 
not  accustomed  to  see  him  with  his  arms  hanging  listlessly 

TEN    TEARS    LATER.  279 

by  his  side,  his  head  bewildered,  and  his  eyes  with  their 
bright  intelligence  gone.  It  rarely  happened  that  any  un- 
easiness was  excited  on  his  account  whenever  a  question  of 
elegance  or  taste  was  under  discussion,  and  De  Guiche's 
defeat  was  accordingly  attributed  by  the  greater  number 
present  to  his  courtier-like  tact  and  ability.  But  there  were 
others — keen-sighted  observers  are  always  to  be  met  with  at 
court — who  remarked  his  paleness  and  his  altered  looks, 
which  he  could  neither  feign  nor  conceal,  and  their  conclu- 
sion was,  that  De  Guiche  was  not  acting  the  part  of  a  flat- 
terer. All  these  sufferings,  successes,  and  remarks,  were 
blended,  confounded,  and  lost  in  the  uproar  of  applause. 
When,  however,  the  queens  had  expressed  their  satisfaction 
and  the  spectators  their  enthusiasm,  when  the  king  had  re- 
tired to  his  dressing-room  to  change  his  costume,  and  while 
Monsieur,  dressed  as  a  woman,  as  he  delighted  to  be,  was, 
in  his  turn,  dancing  about,  De  Guiche,  who  had  now  re- 
covered himself,  approached  madame,  who,  seated  at  the 
back  of  the  theater,  was  waiting  for  the  second  part,  and 
had  quittted  the  others  for  the  purpose  of  creating  a  sort  of 
solitude  for  herself  in  the  midst  of  the  crowd,  to  meditate, 
as  it  were,  beforehand,  upon  chorographic  effects;  and  it 
will  be  perfectly  understood  that,  absorbed  in  deep  medita- 
tion, she  did  not  see,  or  rather,  she  pretended  not  to  see, 
anything  that  was  passing  around  her.  De  Guiche,  observ- 
ing that  she  was  alone,  near  a  thicket  constructed  of  painted 
cloth,  approached  her.  Two  of  her  maids  of  honor,  dressed 
as  hamadryads,  seeing  De  Guiche  advance,  drew  back  out  of 
res]3ect,  whereupon  De  Guiche  proceeded  toward  the  mid- 
dle of  the  circle  and  saluted  her  royal  highness;  but, 
whether  she  did  or  did  not  observe  his  salutation,  the  prin- 
cess did  not  even  turn  her  head.  A  cold  shiver  passed 
through  poor  De  Guiche;  he  was  unprepared  for  so  utter  an 
indifference,  for  he  had  neither  seen  nor  been  told  of  any- 
thing that  had  taken  place,  and,  consequently,  could  guess 
nothing.  Remarking,  therefore,  that  his  obeisance  obtained 
him  no  acknowledgment,  he  advanced  one  step  further, 
and  in  a  voice  which  he  tried,  though  uselessly,  to  render 
calm,  said: 

"I  have  the  honor  to  present  my  most  humble  respects  to 
your  royal  highness." 

Upon  this  madame  deigned  to  turn  her  eyes  languishingly 
toward  the  comte,  observing: 

"Ah!  Monsieur  de  Guiche,  is  that  you?     Good-day." 

The  comte's  patience  almost  forsook  him  as  he  continued: 

880  TEN"   TEARS    LATER. 

"Your  royal  highness  danced  just  now  most  charmingly.'* 

•'Do  you  think  so?"  she  replied,  with  indifference. 

"Yes;  the  character  which  your  royal  highness  assumed 
is  in  perfect  harmony  with  your  own." 

Madame  again  turned  round,  and  looking  De  Guiche  full 
in  the  face  with  a  bright  and  steady  gaze,  said. 

"Why  so?" 

"Oh!  there  can  be  no  doubt  of  it." 

"Explain  yourself." 

"You  represent  a  divinity,  beautiful,  disdainful,  and 

"You  mean  Pomona,  comte?" 

"I  allude  to  the  goddess  you  represent." 

Madame  remained  silent  for  a  moment,  with  her  lips  com- 
pressed, and  then  observed: 

"But,  comte,  you,  too,  are  an  excellent  dancer." 

"Nay,  madame,  I  am  only  one  of  those  who  are  never 
noticed,  or  who  are  soon  forgotten  if  they  ever  happen  to 
be  noticed." 

With  this  remark,  accompanied  by  one  of  those  deep  sighs 
which  affect  the  remotest  fibers  of  one's  being,  his  heart 
burdened  with  sorrow  and  throbbing  fast,  his  head  on  fire, 
and  his  gaze  wandering,  he  bowed  breathlessly,  and  with- 
drew behind  tbe  thicket.  The  only  reply  madame  conde- 
scended to  make  was  by  slightly  raising  her  shoulders,  and 
as  her  ladies  of  honor  had  discreetly  retired  while  the  con- 
versation lasted,  she  recalled  them  by  a  look.  The  ladies 
were  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente  and  Mile,  de  Montalais. 

"Did  you  hear  what  the  Comte  de  Guiche  said?"  the 
princess  inquired. 


"It  really  is  very  singular,"  she  continued,  in  a  compas- 
sionate tone,  "how  exile  has  affected  poor  Monsieur  de 
Guiche's  wit." 

And.  then,  in  a  louder  voice,  fearful  lest  her  unhappy 
Tictim  might  lose  a  syllable,  she  said: 

"In  the  first  place,' he  danced  badly,  and  then  afterward 
his  remarks  were  very  silly." 

She  then  rose,  humming  the  air  to  which  she  was  pres- 
ently going  to  dance.  De  Guiche  had  overheard  every- 
thing. The  arrow  had  pierced  his  heart  and  wounded  him 
mortally.  Then,  at  the  risk  of  interrupting  the  progress  of 
the  fete  by  his  annoyance,  he  fled  from  the  scene,  tearing 
his  beautiful  costume  of  Autumn  in  pieces,  and  scattering, 
as  he   went   along,  the  branches   of  vines,  mulberry  and 

TEJSr    YEAKS    LATER.  381 

almond-trees,  with  all  the  other  artificial  attributes  of  his 
divinity.  A  quarter  of  an  hour  afterward  he  had  returned 
to  the  theater;  but  it  will  be  readily  believed  that  it  was 
only  a  jjowerful  effort  of  reason  over  his  great  excitement 
that  had  enabled  him  to  return;  or  perhaps,  for  the  heart 
is  so  constituted,  he  found  it  impossible  even  to  remain 
much  longer  separated  from  the  presence  of  one  who  had 
broken  that  heart.  Madame  was  finishing  her  figure.  She 
saw,  but  did  not  look  at  De  Guiche,  who,  irritated  and 
furious,  turned  his  back  upon  her  as  she  passed  him, 
escorted  by  her  nymphs,  and  followed  by  a  hundred  flat- 
terers. During  this  time,  at  the  other  end  of  the  theater, 
near  the  lake,  a  young  woman  was  seated,  with  her  eyes 
fixed  upon  one  of  the  windows  of  the  theater,  from  which 
were  issuing  streams  of  light,  the  window  in  question  being 
that  of  the  royal  box.  As  De  Guiche  quitted  the  theater  for 
the  purpose  of  getting  into  the  fresh  air  he  so  much  needed, 
he  passed  close  to  this  figure  and  saluted  her.  When  she 
perceived  the  young  man  she  rose,  like  a  woman  surprised 
in  the  midst  of  ideas  she  was  desirous  of  concealing  from 
herself.  De  Guiche  stopped  as  he  recognized  her,  and  said 

"Good-evening,  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere;  I  am  indeed 
fortunate  in  meeting  you." 

''I  also,  Monsieur  de  Guiche,  am  glad  of  this  accidental 
meeting,"  said  the  young  girl,  as  she  was  about  to  with- 

"Pray  do  not  leave  me,"  said  De  Guiche,  stretching  out 
his  hand  toward  her,  "for  you  would  be  contradicting  the 
kind  words  you  have  just  pronounced.  Remain,  I  implore 
you;  the  evening  is  most  lovely.  You  wish  to  escape  from 
this  tumult,  and  prefer  your  own  society.  Well,  I  can  un- 
derstand it;  all  women  who  are  possessed  of  any  feeling  do, 
and  you  never  find  them  dull  or  lonely  when  removed  from 
the  giddy  vortex  of  these  exciting  amusements.  Oh, 
heavens!"  he  exclaimed  suddenly. 

"What  is  the  matter.  Monsieur  le  Comte?"  inquired  La 
Valliere,  with  some  anxiety.     "You  seem  agitated." 

"I?  oh,  no!" 

"Will  you  allow  me.  Monsieur  de  Guiche,  to  return  you 
the  thanks  I  had  proposed  to  offer  you  on  the  very  first 
opportunity.  It  is  to  your  recommendation,  I  am  aware, 
that  I  owe  my  admission  among  the  number  of  madame's 
maids  of  honor." 

"Indeed!  Ah!  I  remember  now,  and  I  congratulate  my- 
self.    Do  you  love  any  one?" 

282  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

"I?"  exclaimed  La  Valliere. 

"Forgive  me;  I  hardly  know  what  I  am  saying;  a  thou- 
sand times,  forgive  me.  Madame  was  right,  quite  right; 
this  brutal  exile  has  completely  turned  my  brain." 

"And  yet  it  seemed  to' me  that  the  king  received  you 
with  kindness." 

"Do  you  think  so?  Keceived  me  with  kindness — perhaps 
so — yes " 

"There  cannot  be  a  doubt  he  received  you  kindly,  for, 
in  fact,  you  have  returned  without  his  permission." 

"Quite  true,  and  I  believe  you  are  right.  But  have  you 
not  seen  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne  here?" 

La  Valliere  started  at  the  name. 

"Why  do  you  ask?"  she  inquired. 

"Have  I  offended  you  again?"  said  De  Guiche.  "In  that 
case,  I  am  indeed  unhappy,  and  greatly  to  be  pitied." 

"Yes,  very  unhappy,  and  very  much  to  be  pitied.  Mon- 
sieur de  Guiche,  for  you  seem  to  be  suffering  terribly." 

"Oh,  mademoiselle,  why  have  I  not  a  devoted  sister,  or  a 
true  friend,  such  as  yourself?" 

"You  have  friends.  Monsieur  de  Guiche,  and  the  Vicomte 
de  Bragelonne,  of  whom  you  spoke  just  now,  is,  I  believe, 
one  of  them." 

"Yes,  yes,  you  are  right;  he  is  one  of  my  best  friends. 
Farewell,  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere,  farewell." 

And  he  fled,  like  one  possessed,  along  the  banks  of  the 
lake.  His  dark  shadow  glided,  lengthening  as  it  disap- 
peared among  the  illumined  yews  and  glittering  undulations 
of  the  water.     La  Valliere  looked  after  him,  saying: 

"Yes,  yes;  he,  too,  is  suffering,  and  I  begin  to  under- 
stand why." 

She  had  hardly  finished  when  her  companions.  Mile,  de 
Montalais  and  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente,  ran  forward.  They 
were  released  from  their  attendance,  and  had  changed  their 
costumes  of  nymphs;  delighted  with  the  beautiful  night, 
and  the  success  of  the  evening,  they  returned  to  look  after 
their  companion. 

"What,  already  here!"  they  said  to  her.  "We  thought 
we  should  be  the  first  at  the  rendezvous." 

"I  have  been  here  this  quarter  of  an  hour,"  replied  La 

"Did  not  the  dancing  amuse  you?" 


"But  surely  the  whole  spectacle?" 

"No  more  than  the  dancing.     As  far  as  a  spectacle  is 

TEN    \EAKS    LATER.  283 

concerned,  I  much  prefer  that  which  these  dark  woods  pre- 
sent, in  whose  depths  can  be  seen,  now  in  one  direction  and 
again  in  another,  a  liglit  passing  by,  as  though  it  were  an 
eye,  bright  red  in  color,  sometimes  oj^en  as  others  closed." 

"La  Valliere  is  quite  a  poet,"  said  Tonnay-Charente. 

"In  other  words,"  said  Montalais,  "she  is  insupportable. 
Whenever  there  is  a  question  of  laughing  a  little,  or  of 
amusing  ourselves  with  anything.  La  Valliere  begins  to  cry; 
whenever  we  girls  have  reason  to  cry,  because,  perhaps, 
we  have  mislaid  our  dresses,  or  because  our  vanity  has  been 
wounded,  or  our  costume  fails  to  produce  any  effect.  La 
Valliere  laughs." 

"As  far  as  I  am  concerned,  that  is  not  my  character," 
said  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente.  "I  am  a  woman;  there 
are  few  like  me;  whoever  loves  me,  flatters  me;  whoever 
flatters  me,  pleases  me;  and  whoever  pleases •" 

"Well,"  said  Montalais,  "you  do  not  finish." 

"It  is  too  difficult,"  replied  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente, 
laughing  loudly.  "Do  you,  who  are  so  clever,  finish  for 

"And  you,  Louise?"  said  Montalais,  "does  anyone  please 

"That  is  a  matter  which  concerns  no  one  but  myself," 
replied  the  young  girl,  rising  from  the  mossy  bank  on  which 
she  had  been  reclining  during  the  whole  time  the  ballet  had 
lasted.  "Now,  mesdemoiselles,  we  have  agreed  to  amuse 
ourselves  to-night  without  any  one  to  overlook  us,  and  with- 
out any  escort.  We  are  three  in  number,  we  like  one  an- 
other, and  the  night  is  lovely;  look  yonder,  do  you  not  see 
the  moon  slowly  rising,  silvering  the  topmost  branches  of 
the  chestnuts  and  the  oaks?  Oh!  beautiful  walk!  dear 
liberty!  the  beautiful,  soft  turf  of  the  woods,  the  happiness 
which  your  friendship  confers  upon  me!  Let  us  walk  arm 
in  arm  toward  those  large  trees.  Out  yonder  all  are  at  this 
moment  seated  at  table  and  fully  occupied,  or  preparing  to 
adorn  themselves  for  a  set  and  formal  promenade;  horses 
are  being  saddled,  or  harnessed  to  the  carriages — the  queen's 
mules  or  madame's  four  white  ponies.  As  for  ourselves, 
we  shall  soon  reach  some  retired  spot  where  no  eye  can  see 
us  and  no  step  follow  ours.  Do  you  not  remember,  Monta- 
lais, the  woods  of  Chaverney  and  of  Chambord,  the  num- 
berless poplars  of  Blois,  where  we  exchanged  some  of  our 
mutual  hopes?" 

"And  many  confidences  also?" 


284  TEN"   TEARS   LATER. 

"Well,"  said  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente,  "I  also  think  a 
good  deal;  but  I  take  care -" 

*'To  say  nothing,"  said  Montalais,  "so  that  when  Made- 
moiselle de  Tonnay-Charente  thinks,  Athenais  is  the  only 
one  who  knows  it." 

"Hush!"  said  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente.  "I  hear  steps 
approaching  from  this  side." 

"Quick,  quick,  then,  among  the  high  reed-grass  I"  said 
Montalais.     "Stoop,  Athenais,  you  are  so  tall." 

Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente  stooped  as  she  was  told,  and 
almost  at  the  same  moment  they  saw  two  gentlemen  ap- 
proaching, their  heads  bent  down,  walking  arm  in  arm,  on 
the  iine  gravel-walk  running  parallel  with  the  bank.  The 
young  girls  had,  indeed,  made  themselves  small,  for  noth- 
ing was  to  be  seen  of  them. 

"It  is  Monsieur  de  Guiche,"  whispered  Montalais  in 
Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente's  ear. 

"It  is  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne,"  whispered  the  latter  to 
La  Valliere. 

The  two  young  men  approached  still  closer,  conversing 
in  animated  voices. 

"She  was  here  just  now,"  said  the  count.  "If  I  had  only 
seen  her  I  should  have  declared  it  to  be  a  vision,  but  I 
spoke  to  her." 

"You  are  positive,  then?" 

"Yes;  but  perhaps  I  frightened  her." 

"In  what  way?" 

"Oh!  I  was  still  half-mad,  at  what  you  know,  so  that  she 
could  hardly  have  understood  what  I  was  saying,  and  must 
have  become  alarmed." 

"Oh!"  said  De  Bragelonne,  "do  not  make  yourself  un- 
easy; she  is  all  kindness,  and  will  excuse  you;  she  is  clear- 
sighted, and  will  understand." 

"Yes,  but  if  she  should  have  understood,  and  understood 
too  well,  she  may  talk." 

"You  do  not  know  Louise,  count,"  said  Raoul.  "Louise 
possesses  every  virtue,  and  has  not  a  single  fault." 

And  the  two  young  men  passed  on,  and  as  they  proceeded 
their  voices  were  soon  lost  in  the  distance. 

"How  is  it,  La  Valliere,"  said  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente, 
"that  the  Vicomte  de  Bragelonne  spoke  of  you  as  Louise?" 

"We  were  brought  up  together,"  replied  Louise,  blush- 
ing; "Monsieur  de  Bragelonne  has  honored  me  by  asking 
my  hand  in  marriage;  but " 


TEN   YEAKS    LATER.  285 

"It  seems  the  king  will  not  consent  to  the  marriage." 

"Eh!  Why  the  king?  and  what  has  the  king  to  do  with 
it?"  exclaimed  Aure  sharply.  "Good  graciousi  has  the 
king  the  right  to  interfere  in  matters  of  that  kind?  Poli- 
tics are  politics,  as  Monsieur  de  Mazarin  used  to  say;  but 
love  is  love.  If,  therefore,  you  love  Monsieur  de  Brage- 
lonne,  marry  him;  I  give  my  consent." 

Athenais  began  to  laugh. 

"Oh!  I  speak  seriously,"  replied  Montalais,  "and  my 
opinion  in  this  case  is  quite  as  good  as  the  king's,  I  suj)pose; 
is  it  not,  Louise?" 

"Come,"  said  La  Valliere,  "these  gentlemen  have  passed; 
let  us  take  advantage  of  our  being  alone  to  cross  the  open 
ground,  and  so  take  refuge  in  the  woods." 

"So  much  the  better,"  said  Athenais,  "because  I  see  the 
torches  setting  out  from  the  chateau  and  the  theater,  w^hich 
seem  as  if  they  were  preceding  some  person  of  distinction." 

"Let  us  run,  then,"  said  all  three. 

And,  gracefully  lifting  up  the  long  skirts  of  their  silk 
dresses,  they  lightly  ran  across  the  open  space  between  the 
lake  and  the  thickest  covert  of  the  j^ark.  Montalais  agile 
as  a  deer,  Athenais  eager  as  a  young  wolf,  bounded  through 
the  dry  grass,  and,  now  and  then,  some  bold  Acteon  might, 
by  the  aid  of  the  faint  light,  have  perceived  their  straight 
and  well-formed  limbs  somewhat  displayed  beneath  the 
heavy  folds  of  their  satin  petticoats.  La  Valliere,  more 
relined  and  less  bashful,  allowed  her  dress  to  flow  around 
her;  retarded  also  by  the  lameness  of  her  foot,  it  was  not 
long  before  she  called  out  to  her  companions  to  halt,  and, 
left  behind,  she  obliged  them  both  to  wait  for  her.  At  this 
tnoment  a  man,  concealed  in  a  dry  ditch  full  of  young  willow 
saplings,  scrambled  quickly  up  its  shelving  side,  and  ran  oft' 
in  the  direction  of  the  chateau.  The  three  young  girls,  on 
their  side,  reached  the  outskirts  of  the  park,  every  path  of 
which  they  well  knew.  The  ditches  were  bordered  by  high 
hedges  full  of  flowers,  which  on  that  side  protected  the 
foot-passengers  from  being  intruded  upon  by  the  horses  and 
carriages.  In  fact,  the  sound  of  madame's  and  of  the  queen's 
carriages  could  be  heard  in  the  distance  upon  the  hard,  dry 
ground  of  the  roads,  followed  by  the  mounted  cavaliers. 
Distant  music  was  heard  in  response,  and  when  the  soft 
notes  died  away  the  nightingale,  with  his  song  full  of  pride, 
poured  forth  his  melodious  chants,  and  his  most  compli- 
cated, learned,  and  sweetest  compositions,  to  those  who  he 
perceived  had  met  beneath  the  thick  covert  of  the  woods. 

286  TEN   TEARS   LATER. 

Near  the  songster,  in  the  dark  background  of  the  large 
trees,  could  be  seen  the  glistening  eyes  of  an  owl,  attracted 
by  the  harmony.  In  this  way  the  fete,  for  the  whole  court 
was  a,  fete  also  for  the  mysteripus  inhabitants  of  the  forest; 
for  certainly  the  deer  from  the  brake,  the  pheasant  on  the 
branch,  the  fox  in  its  hole,  were  all  listening.  One  could 
realize  the  life  led  by  this  nocturnal  and  invisible  popula- 
tion from  the  restless  movements  which  suddenly  took  place 
among  the  leaves.  Our  sylvan  nymphs  uttered  a  slight  cry, 
but,  reassured  immediately  afterward,  they  laughed,  and 
resumed  their  walk.  In  this  manner  they  reached  the 
royal  oak,  the  venerable  relic  of  an  oak  which  in  its  earlier 
days  bad  listened  to  the  sighs  of  Henry  II.  for  tne  beautiful 
Diana  of  Poictiers,  and  later  still,  to  those  of  Henry  IV.  for 
the  lovely  Gabrielle  d'Estrees.  Beneath  this  oak  the  gar- 
deners had  piled  up  the  moss  and  turf  in  such  a  manner 
that  never  had  a  seat  more  luxuriously  reposed  the  wearied 
limbs  of  any  monarch.  The  trunk  of  the  tree,  somewhat 
rough  to  recline  against,  was  sufficiently  large  to  accommo- 
date the  three  young  girls,  whose  voices  were  lost  among 
the  branches,  which  stretched  downward  toward  the  trunk. 



The  softness  of  the  air,  the  stillness  of  the  foliage,  tacitly 
imposed  upon  these  young  girls  an  engagement  to  change 
immediately  their  giddy  conversation  for  one  of  a  more 
serious  character.  She,  indeed,  whose  disposition  was  the 
most  lively — Montalais,  for  instance — was  the  first  to  yield 
to  its  influence;  and  she  began  by  heaving  a  deep  sigh,  and 

"What  happiness  to  be  here  alone,  and  at  liberty,  with 
every  right  to  be  frank,  especially  toward  each  other." 

"Yes,"  said  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente;  "for  the  court, 
however  brilliant  it  may  be,  has  always  some  falsehood  con- 
cealed beneath  the  folds  of  its  velvet  robes,  or  beneath  the 
blaze  of  its  diamonds." 

"I,"  replied  La  Valliere,  "I  never  tell  a  falsehood;  when 
I  cannot  speak  the  truth  I  remain  silent." 

"You  will  not  remain  long  in  favoi,"  said  Montalais; 
"it  is  not  here  as  it  was  at  Blois,  where  we  told  the  dowager 
madame  all   our  little  annoyances    and  all   our   longings. 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  287 

There  were  certain  days  when  maclame  remembered  that 
she  herself  had  been  young,  and  on  those  days  whoever 
talked  with  her  found  in  her  a  sincere  friend.  She  related 
•  to  us  her  flirtations  with  Monsieur,  and  we  told  her  of  the 
flirtations  she  had  had  with  others,  or,  at  least,  the  rumors 
of  them  which  had  been  spread  abroad.  Poor  woman,  so 
simple-minded!  she  laughed  at  them,  as  we  did.  Where  is 
she  now?" 

"Ah,  Montalais — laughter-loving  Montalais!"  cried  La 
Valliere,  "you  see  you  are  sighing  again;  the  woods  inspire 
you,  and  you  are  almost  reasonable  this  evening." 

"You  ought  not,  either  of  you,"  said  Athenais,  "to  re- 
gret the  court  at  Blois  so  much,  unless  you  do  not  feel 
happy  with  us.  A  court  is  a  place  v/here  men  and  women 
resort  to  talk  of  matters  which  mothers,  guardians,  and 
especially  confessors,  so  severely  denounce." 

"Oh,  Athenais!"  said  Louise,  blushing. 

"Athenais  is  frank  to-night,"  said  Montalais;  "let  us 
avail  ourselves  of  it." 

"Yes;  let  us  take  advantage  of  it,  for  this  evening  I 
could  divulge  the  dearest  secrets  of  my  heart." 

"Ah,  if  Monsieur  de  Montespan  were  here!"  said 

"Do  you  think  that  I  care  for  Monsieur  de  Montespan?" 
murmured  the  beautiful  young  girl. 

"He  is  handsome,  I  believe?" 

"Yes.     And  that  is  no  small  advantage  in  my  eyes." 

"There,  now,  you  see " 

"I  will  go  further,  and  say  that  of  all  the  men  whom  one 
sees  here,  he  is  the  handsomest  and  the  most " 

"What  was  that?"  said  La  Valliere,  starting  suddenly 
from  the  mossy  bank. 

"A  deer  which  hurried  by,  perhaps." 

"I  am  only  afraid  of  men,"  said  Athenais. 

"When  they  do  not  resemble  Monsieur  de  Montespan." 

"A  truce  to  this  raillery.  Monsieur  de  Montespan  is  at- 
tentive to  me,  but  that  does  not  commit  me  in  any  way. 
Is  not  Monsieur  de  Guiche  here,  he  who  is  so  devoted  to 

"Poor  fellow!"  said  La  Valliere. 

"Why  poor?  Madame  is  sufficiently  beautiful  and  of 
sufficiently  high  rank,  I  suppose." 

La  Valliere  shook  her  head  sorrowfully,  saying: 

"When  one  loves,  it  is  neither  beauty  nor  rank;  when 
one  loves,  it  should  be  the  heart,  or  the  eyes  only,  of  him 
or  of  her  whom  one  loves." 


Montalais  began  to  laugh  loudly. 

"Heart,  eyes/'  she  said.     "Oh,  sugar-plums !" 

"I  speak  for  myself,"  replied  La  Valliere. 

"ISToble  sentiments,"  said  Athenais,with  an  air  of  protection. 

"Are  they  not  your  own?"  said  Louise. 

"Perfectly  so;  but  to  continue:  how  can  one  pity  a  man 
who  bestows  his  attentions  upon  such  a  woman  as  madame? 
If  any  disproportion  exists,  it  is  on  the  count's  side." 

"Oh,  no,  no !"  said  La  Valliere ;  "it  is  on  madame's  side." 

"Explain  yourself." 

"I  will.  Madame  has  not  even  a  wish  to  know  what  love, 
is.  She  diverts  herself  with  the  feelings,  as  children  do  with 
fireworks,  of  which  a  spark  might  set  a  palace  on  fire.  It 
makes  a  display,  and  that  is  all  she  cares  about.  Besides, 
pleasure  and  love  form  the  tissue  of  which  she  wishes  her  life 
to  be  woven.  Monsieur  de  Guiche  will  love  this  illustrious 
personage  but  she  will  never  love  him." 

Athenais  laughed  disdainfully. 

"Do  people  really  love?"  she  said.  "Where  are  the  noble 
sentiments  you  just  now  uttered?  Does  not  a  woman's  vir- 
tue consist  in  the  courageous  refusal  of  every  intrigue  which 
might  compromise  her?  A  properly  regulated  woman,  en- 
dowed with  a  generous  heart,  ought  to  look  at  men,  make 
herself  loved — adored,  even,  by  them,  and  say,  at  the  very 
utmost,  but  once  in  her  life,  'I  begin  to  think  that  I  ought 
not  to  have  been  what  I  am — I  should  have  detested  this 
one  less  than  others.' " 

"Therefore,"  exclaimed  La  Valliere,  "that  is  what  Monsieur 
de  Montespan  has  to  expect." 

"Certainly;  he,  as  well  as  every  one  else.  What,  have  I 
not  said  that  I  admit  he  possesses  a  certain  superiority,  and 
would  not  that  be  enough?  My  dear  child,  a  woman  is  a 
queen  during  the  whole  period  nature  permits  her  to  enjoy 
sovereign  power — from  fifteen  to  thirty-five  years  of  age. 
After  that,  we  are  free  to  have  a  heart,  when  we  only  have 
that  left " 

"Oh,  oh!"  murmured  La  Valliere. 

"Excellent !"  cried  Montalais ;  "a  wife  and  mistress  com- 
bined in  one.  Athenais,  you  will  make  your  way  in  the 

"Do  you  not  approve  of  what  I  say  ?" 

"Completely,"  replied  her  laughing  companion. 

"You  are  not  serious,  Montalais?"  said  Louise. 

TEN    TEARS    LATER.  289 

"Yes,  yes;  I  approve  everything  Athenais  has  just  said; 
only " 

"Only  what?" 

"Well,  I  cannot  carry  it  out.  I  have  the  firmest  princi- 
ples; I  form  resolutions  beside  which  the  laws  of  the  Stadt- 
holder  and  of  the  King  of  Spain  are  child's  play;  but  when 
the  moment  arrives  to  put  them  into  execution,  nothing 
comes  of  them." 

"Your  courage  fails?"  said  Athenais  scornfully. 

"Miserably  so." 

"Great  weakness  of  nature,"  returned  Athenais.  "But 
at  least  you  make  a  choice." 

"Why,  no.  It  pleases  fate  to  disappoint  me  in  every- 
thing; I  dream  of  emperors,  and  I  find  only " 

"Aure,  Aure!"  exclaimed  La  Valliere,  "for  pity's  sake, 
do  not,  for  the  pleasure  of  saying  something  witty,  sacrifice 
those  who  love  you  with  such  devoted  affection." 

"Oh,  I  do  not  trouble  myself  much  about  that;  those  who 
love  me  are  sufficiently  happy  that  I  do  not  dismiss  them 
altogether.  So  much  the  worse  for  myself  if  I  have  a  weak- 
ness for  any  one,  but  so  much  the  worse  for  others  if  I 
revenge  myself  upon  them  for  it." 

"You  are  right,"  said  Athenais,  "and  perhaps  you,  too, 
will  reach  the  same  goal.  In  other  words,  young  ladies, 
that  is  termed  being  a  coquette.  Men,  who  are  very  silly 
in  most  things,  are  particularly  so  in  confounding,  under 
the  term  of  coquetry,  a  woman's  pride  and  her  variable- 
ness. I,  for  instance,  am  proud;  that  is  to  say,  impregna- 
ble. I  treat  my  admirers  harshly,  but  without  any  preten- 
sion to  retain  them.  Men  call  me  a  coquette,  because  they 
are  vain  enough  to  think  I  care  for  them.  Other  women — 
Montalais,  for  instance — have  allowed  themselves  to  be  in- 
fluenced by  flattery;  they  would  be  lost  were  it  not  for  that 
most  fortunate  principle  of  instinct  which  urges  them  to 
change  suddenly,  and  punish  the  man  whose  devotion  they 
had  so  recently  accepted." 

"A  very  learned  dissertation,"  said  Montalais,  in  the 
tone  of  thorough  enjoyment. 

"It  is  odious!"  murmured  Louise. 

"Thanks  to  this  sort  of  coquetry,  for,  indeed,  that  is 
genuine  coquetry,"  continued  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente, 
"the  lover  who,  a  little  while  since,  was  puffed  up  with 
pride,  in  a  minute  afterward  is  suffering  at  every  pore  of 
his  vanity  and  self-esteem.  He  was,  perhaps,  already  be- 
ginning to  assume  the  airs  of  a  conqueror,  but  now  he 
DuiiAS — YOL.   XV.  13 

290  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

recedes;  he  was  about  to  assume  an  air  of  protection  to- 
ward US;,  but  he  is  obliged  to  prostrate  himself  once  more. 
The  result  of  all  which  is,  that,  instead  of  having  a  husband 
who  is  jealous  and  troublesome,  from  restraint  in  his  con- 
duct toward  us,  we  have  a  lover  always  trembling  in  our 
presence,  always  fascinated  by  our  attractions,  and  always 
submissive;  and  for  this  simple  reason,  that  he  finds  the 
same  woman  never  the  same.  Be  convinced,  therefore,  of 
the  advantages  of  coquetry.  Possessing  that,  one  reigns  a 
queen  among  women  in  cases  where  Providence  has  with- 
held that  precious  faculty  of  holding  one's  heart  and  mind 
in  check." 

"How  clever  you  are,"  said  Montalais,  "and  how  well 
you  understand  the  duty  women  owe  themselves." 

"I  am  only  settling  a  case  of  individual  happiness,"  said 
Athenais  modestly;  "and  defend  myself,  like  all  weak, 
loving  dispositions,  against  the  oppressions  of  the  stronger." 

La  Valliere  did  not  say  a  word. 

"Does  she  not  approve  of  what  we  are  saying?" 

"Nay;  only  I  do  not  understand  it,"  said  Louise.  "You 
talk  like  those  who  would  not  be  called  upon  to  live  in  this 
world  of  ours." 

"And  very  pretty  your  world  is,"  said  Montalais. 

"A  world,"  returned  Athenais,  "in  which  men  worship 
a  woman  until  she  has  fallen — or  insult  her  when  she  has 

"Who  spoke  to  you  of  falling?"  said  Louise. 

"Yours  is  a  new  theory,  then;  will  you  tell  us  how  you 
intend  to  resist  yielding  to  temptation,  if  you  allow  your- 
self to  be  hurried  away  by  feelings  of  affection?" 

"Oh!"  exclaimed  the  young  girl,  raising  toward  the  dark 
heavens  her  beautiful  eyes  filled  with  tears,  "if  you  did  but 
know  what  a  heart  was,  I  would  explain,  and  would  con- 
vince you;  a  loving  heart  is  stronger  than  all  your  coquetry, 
and  more  powerful  than  all  your  pride.  A  woman  is  never 
truly  loved,  I  believe;  a  man  never  loves  with  idolatry,  ex- 
cept he  feels  himself  loved  in  return.  Let  old  men,  whom 
we  read  of  in  comedies,  fancy  themselves  adored  by  co- 
quettes. A  young  man  is  conscious  of,  and  knows  them;  if 
he  has  a  fancy,  or  a  strong  desire,  or  an  absorbing  passion,  for 
a  coquette,  he  cannot  mistake  her;  a  coquette  may  drive 
him  out  of  his  senses,  but  will  never  make  him  fall  in  love. 
Love,  such  as  I  conceive  it  to  be,  is  an  incessant,  complete, 
and  perfect  sacrifice;  but  it  is  not  the  sacrifice  of  one  only 
of  the  two  persons  who  are  united.     It  is  the  perfect  abnega- 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  291 

tion  of  two  who  are  desirous  of  blending  their  beings  into 
one.  If  I  ever  love,  I  shall  implore  my  lover  to  leave  me 
free  and  pure;  I  will  tell  him,  what  he  will  understand,  that 
my  heart  was  torn  by  my  refusal,  and  he,  in  his  love  for  me, 
aware  of  the  magnitude  of  my  sacrifice — he,  in  his  turn,  I 
say,  will  store  his  devotion  for  me — will  respect  me,  and 
will  not  seek  my  ruin,  to  insult  me  when  I  shall  have  fallen, 
as  you  said  just  now,  when  uttering  your  blasphemies 
against  love,  such  as  I  understand  it.  That  is  my  idea  of 
love.  And  now  you  will  tell  me,  perhaps,  that  my  lover  will 
despise  me.  I  defy  him  to  do  so,  unless  he  be  the  vilest  of 
men,  and  my  heart  assures  me  that  it  is  not  such  a  man  I 
should  choose.  A  look  from  me  will  repay  him  for  the 
sacrifices  he  makes,  or  it  will  inspire  him  with  virtues  which 
he  would  never  think  he  possessed." 

'*But,  Louise,"  exclaimed  Montalais,  "you  tell  us  this, 
and  do  not  carry  it  into  practice." 

"What  do  you  mean?" 

"You  are  adored  by  Eaoul  de  Bragelonne,  who  worships 
you  on  both  his  knees.  The  poor  fellow  is  made  the  victim 
of  your  virtue.  Just  as  he  would  be — nay,  more  than  he 
would  be  even,  of  my  coquetry,  or  of  Athenais"  pride." 

"This  is  simply  a  different  shade  of  coquetry,"  said 
Athenais;  "and  Louise,  1  perceive,  is  a  coquette  without 
knowing  it." 

"Oh!"  said  La  Valliere. 

"Yes,  you  may  call  it  instinct,  if  you  please,  keenest  sen- 
sibility, exquisite  refinement  of  feeling,  perpetual  ^  display 
of  unrestrained  outbreaks  of  affection,  which  end  in  noth- 
ing. It  is  very  artful  too,  and  very  effective.  I  should 
even,  now  that  I  reflect  on  it,  have  preferred  this  system  of 
tactics  to  my  own  pride,  for  waging  war  with  members  of 
the  other  sex,  because  it  offers  the  advantage  sometimes  of 
thoroughly  convincing  them;  but  at  the  present  moment, 
without  utterly  condemning  myself,  I  declare  it  to  be 
superior  to  the  simple  coquetry  of  Montalais."  And  the 
two  young  girls  began  to  laugh. 

La  Valliere  alone  preserved  a  silence  and  quietly  shook 
her  head.  Then,  a  moment  after,  she  added,  "If  you  were 
to  tell  me,  in  the  presence  of  a  man,  but  a  fourth  part  of 
what  you  have  Just  said,  or  even  if  I  were  assured  that  you 
think  it,  I  should  die  of  shame  and  grief  where  I  am  now." 

"Very  well;  die,  poor  tender  little  darling,"  replied  Mile. 
de  Tonnay-Charente;  "for,  if  there  are  no  men  here,  there 
are  at  least  two  women,  your  own  friends,  who  declare  you  to 

292  TEN   TEAKS    LATER. 

be  attainted  and  convicted  of  being  a  coquette  from  instinct; 
in  other  words,  the  most  dangerous  kind  of  coquette  which 
the  world  possesses." 

"Oh!  mesdemoiselles,"  replied  La  Valliere,  blushing,  and 
almost  ready  to  weep.  Her  two  companions  again  burst 
out  laughing. 

"Very  well!     I  shall  ask  Bragelonne  to  tell  me." 

"Brageloune?"  said  Athenais. 

"Yes;  Bragelonne,  who  is  as  courageous  as  Caesar,  and  as 
clever  and  witty  as  Monsieur  Fouquet.  Poor  fellow!  for 
twelve  years  he  has  known  you,  loved  you,  and  yet — one 
can  hardly  believe  it — he  has  never  even  kissed  the  tips  of 
your  lingers." 

"Tell  us  the  reason  of  this  cruelty,  you  who  are  all  heart," 
said  Athenais  to  La  Valliere. 

"I  will  explain  it  by  a  single  word — virtue.  You  will 
perhaps  deny  the  existence  of  virtue?" 

"Come,  Louise,  tell  us  the  truth,"  said  Aure,  taking  her 
by  the  hand. 

"What  do  you  wish  me  to  tell  you?"  cried  Valliere. 

"Whatever  you  like;  but  it  will  be  useless  for  you  to  say 
anything,  for  I  persist  in  my  opinion  of  you,  A  coquette 
from  instinct;  in  other  words,  as  I  have  already  said,  and  I 
say  it  again,  the  most  dangerous  of  all  coquettes." 

"Oh!  no,  no;  for  pity's  sake,  do  not  believe  that!" 

"What!  twelve  years  of  extreme  severity." 

"How  can  that  be,  since  twelve  years  ago  I  was  only  five 
years  old.  The  freedom  of  the  child  cannot  surely  be 
added  to  the  young  girl's  account." 

"Well,  you  are  now  seventeen;  three  years  instead  of 
twelve.  During  those  three  years  you  have  remained  con- 
stantly and  unchangeably  cruel.  Against  you  aire  arrayed 
the  silent  shades  of  Blois,  the  meetings  when  you  diligently 
conned  the  stars  together,  the  evening  wanderings  beneath 
the  plantain-trees,  his  impassioned  twenty  years  speaking  to 
your  fourteen  summers,  the  fire  of  his  glances  addressed  to 

"Yes,  yes;  but  so  it  is!" 


"But  why  impossible?" 

"Tell  us  something  credible,  and  we  will  believe  you." 

"Yet,  if  you  were  to  suppose  one  thing." 

"What  is  that?" 

"Suppose  that  I  thought  I  was  in  love,  and  that  I  am 

TEN   YEARS   LATER.  293 

"What!  not  in  love?" 

"If  I  have  acted  in  a  different  manner  to  what  others  do 
when  they  are  in  love,  it  is  because  I  do  not  love,  and  be- 
cause my  hour  has  not  yet  come." 

"Louise,  Louise,"  said  Montalais,  "take  care,  or  I  will 
remind  you  of  the  remark  you  made  just  now.  Eaoul  is 
not  here;  do  not  overwhelm  him  while  he  is  absent;  be 
charitable,  and  if,  on  closer  inspection,  you  think  you  do 
not  love  him,  tell  him  so,  poor  fellow!"  and  she  began  to 

"Louise  pitied  Monsieur  de  Guiche  just  now,"  said 
Athenais;  "would  it  be  possible  to  detect  the  explanation  of 
the  indifference  for  the  one  in  this  compassion  for  the 

"Say  what  you  please,"  said  La  Valliere  sadly;  "up- 
braid me  as  you  like,  since  you  do  not  understand  me." 

"Oh!  oh!"  replied  Montalais,  "temper,  sorrow,  and  tears; 
we  are  laughing,  Louise,  and  are  not,  I  assure  you,  quite 
the  monsters  you  suppose.  Look  at  the  proud  Athenais,  as 
she  is  called;  she  does  not  love  Monsieur  de  Montespan,  it 
is  true,  but  she  would  be  in  despair  if  Monsieur  de  Mon- 
tespan were  not  to  love  her.  Look  at  me;  I  laugh  at  Mon- 
sieur Malicorne,  but  the  poor  fellow  whom  I  laugh  at  knows 
very  well  when  he  may  be  permitted  to  press  his  lips  upon 
my  hand.  And  yet  the  eldest  of  us  is  not  twenty  yet. 
What  a  future  before  us!" 

"Silly,  silly  girls!"  murmured  Louise. 

"You  are  quite  right,"  said  Montalais;  "and  you  alone 
have  spoken  words  of  wisdom." 


"I  do  not  dispute  it,"  replied  Athenais.  "And  so  it  is 
positive  you  do  not  love  poor  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne?" 

"Perhaps  she  does,"  said  Montalais;  "she  is  not  yet 
quite  sure  of  it.  But,  in  any  case,  listen,  Athenais;  if  Mon- 
sieur de  Bragelonne  becomes  free,  I  will  give  you  a  little 
friendly  advice." 

"What  is  that?" 

"To  look  at  him  well  before  you  decide  in  favor  of  Mon- 
sieur de  Montespan." 

"Oh!  in  that  way  of  considering  the  subject.  Monsieur 
de  Bragelonne  is  not  the  only  one  whom  one  could  look  at 
with  pleasure;  Monsieur  de  Guiche,  for  instance,  has  his 
value  also." 

"He  did  not  distinguish  himself  this  evening,"  said 
Montalais;  "  and  I  know  from  very  good  authority  that 
madame  thought  him  unbearable-" 

394  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

''Monsieur  de  St.  Aignan  produced  a  most  brilliant  effect, 
and  I  am  sure  that  more  than  one  person  who  saw  him 
dance  this  evening  will  not  soon  forget  him.  Do  you  not 
think  so,  La  Valliere?" 

"Why  do  you  ask  me?  I  did  not  see  him,  nor  do  I  know 

''What!  you  did  not  see  Monsieur  de  St.  Aignan?  You 
do  not  know  him?" 


'"Come,  come,  do  not  afiEect  a  virtue  more  extravagantly 
excessive  than  our  Jierf is;  you  have  eyes,  I  suppose?" 


"Then  you  must  have  seen  all  those  who  danced  this 

"Yes,  nearly  all." 

"That  is  a  very  impertinent  'nearly  all'  for  some." 

"You  must  take  it  for  what  it  is  worth." 

"Very  well;  now,  among  all  those  gentlemen  whom  you 
gaw,  which  do  you  prefer?" 

"Yes,"  said  Montalais;  "is  it  Monsieur  de  St.  Aignan,  or 
Monsieur  de  Guiche,  or  Monsieur " 

"I  prefer  no  one;  I  thought  them  all  about  the  same." 

"Do  you  mean,  then,  that  among  that  brilliant  assembly, 
the  first  court  in  the  world,  no  one  pleased  you?" 

"I  do  not  say  that." 

"Tell  us,  then,  who  your  ideal  is." 

"It  is  not  an  ideal  being." 

"He  exists,  then?" 

"In  very  truth,"  exclaimed  La  Valliere,  aroused  and  ex- 
cited, "I  cannot  understand  you  at  all.  What!  you  who 
have  a  heart  as  I  have,  eyes  as  I  have,  and  yet  you  speak  of 
Monsieur  de  Guiche,  of  Monsieur  de  St.  Aignan,  when  the 
king  was  there."  These  words,  uttered  in  a  precipitate 
manner,  and  in  an  agitated,  fervid  tone  of  voice,  made  her 
two  companions,  between  whom  she  was  seated,  exclaim  in 
a  manner  which  terrified  her   "The  king!" 

La  Valliere  buried  her  face  in  her  hands.  "Yes,"  she 
murmured;  "the  king!  the  king!  Have  you  ever  seen  any 
one  to  be  compared  to  the  king?" 

"You  were  right  just  now  in  saying  you  had  excellent 
eyes,  Louise,  for  you  see  a  great  distance;  too  far,  indeed. 
Alas!  the  king  is  not  one  upon  whom  our  poor  eyes  have  a 
right  to  be  fixed." 

"That  is  too  true,"  cried  La  Valliere;  "it  is  not  the 
privilege  of  all  eyes  to  gaze  upon  the  sun;  but  I  will  look 

TEN    YEARS   LATER.  295 

upon  him,  even  were  I  to  be  blinded  in  doing  so.''  At  this 
moment,  and  as  though  caused  by  the  words  which  had  just 
escajoed  La  Valliere's  lips,  a  rustling  of  leaves,  and  of  that 
Avhich  sounded  like  some  silken  material,  was  heard  behind 
the  adjoining  bush.  The  young  girls  hastily  rose,  almost 
terrified  out  of  their  senses.  They  distinctly  saw  the  leaves 
move,  without  observing  what  it  Avas  that  stirred  them. 

''It  is  a  wolf  or  a  wild  boar,"  cried  Montalais;  "fly!  fly!'* 
The  three  girls,  in  the  very  extremity  of  terror,  fled  by  the 
first  path  which  presented  itself,  and  did  not  stop  until  they 
had  reached  the  verge  of  the  wood.  There,  breathless, 
leaning  against  one  another,  feeling  their  hearts  throb 
wildly,  they  endeavored  to  collect  their  senses,  but  could 
only  succeed  in  doing  so  after  the  lapse  of  some  minutes. 
Perceiving  at  last  the  lights  from  the  windows  of  the 
chateau,  they  decided  to  walk  toward  them.  La  Valliere 
was  exhausted  with  fatigue,  and  Aure  and  Athenais  were 
obliged  to  support  her. 

"We  have  escaped  well,"  said  Montalais. 

"I  am  greatly  afraid,"  said  La  Valliere,  "that  it  was 
something  worse  than  a  wolf.  For  my  part,  and  I  speak  as 
I  think,  I  should  have  preferred  to  have  run  the  risk  of 
being  devoured  alive  by  some  wild  animal  than  to  have  been 
listened  to  and  overheard.  Fool,  fool,  that  I  am!  How 
could  I  have  thought,  how  could  I  have  said  what  I  didP" 
And  saying  this,  her  head  bowed  like  the  head  of  a  reed, 
she  felt  her  limbs  fail,  and,  all  her  strength  abandoning 
her,  she  glided  almost  inanimate  from  the  arms  of  her  com- 
panions, and  sank  down  upon  the  grass. 


THE   king's   uneasiness. 

Let  us  leave  poor  La  Valliere,  who  had  fainted  in  the  arms 
of  he?  two  companions,  and  return  to  the  precincts  of  the 
royal  oak.  The  young  girls  had  hardly  run  twenty  paces 
when  the  sound  which  had  so  much  alarmed  them  was  re- 
newed among  the  branches.  A  man's  figure  might  indis- 
tinctly be  perceived,  and  putting  the  branches  of  the  bushes 
aside,  he  appeared  upon  the  verge  of  the  wood,  and  perceiv- 
ing that  the  place  was  empty,  burst  out  into  a  peal  of 
laughter.  It  was  useless  to  say  that  the  form  in  question 
was  that  of  a  young  and  handsome  man,  who  immediately 
made  a  sign  to  another,  who  thereupon  made  his  appearance. 

296  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

"Well,  sire/*  said  the  second  figure,  advancing  timidly, 
"has  your  majesty  put  our  young  sentimentalists  to  flight?"" 

"It  seems  so,"  said  the  king,  "and  you  can  show  your- 
self without  fear." 

"Take  care,  sire;  you  will  be  recognized." 

"But  I  tell  you  they  have  gone." 

"This  is  a  most  fortunate  meeting,  sire;  and,  if  I  dared 
offer  an  opinion  to  your  majesty,  we  ought  to  follow  them." 

"They  are  far  awaj  by  this  time." 

"They  would  easily  allow  themselves  to  be  overtaken, 
especially  if  they  knew  who  were  following  them." 

"What  do  you  mean  by  that,  coxcomb  that  you  are?" 

"Why,  one  of  them  seems  to  have  taken  a  fancy  to  me, 
and  another  compared  you  to  the  sun." 

"The  greater  reason  why  we  should  not  show  ourselves, 
St.  Aignan.  The  sun  does  not  show  himself  in  the  night- 

"Upon  my  word,  sire,  your  majesty  seems  to  have  very 
little  curiosity.  In  your  place,  I  should  like  to  know  who 
are  the  two  nymphs,  the  two  dryads,  the  two  hamadryads, 
who  have  so  good  an  opinion  of  us." 

"I  shall  know  them  again  very  well,  I  assure  you,  with- 
out running  after  them." 

"By  what  means?" 

"By  their  voices,  of  course.  They  belong  to  the  court, 
and  the  one  who  spoke  of  me  had  a  very  sweet  voice." 

"Ah!  your  majesty  permits  yourself  to  be  influenced  by 

"No  one  will  ever  say  it  is  a  means  you  make  use  of." 

"Forgive  my  stupidity,  sire." 

"Come;  let  us  go  and  look  where  I  told  you." 

"Is  the  passion,  then,  which  your  majesty  confided  to  me, 
already  forgotten?" 

"Oh!  no,  indeed.  How  is  it  possible  to  forget  such  beau- 
tiful eyes  as  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere  has?" 

"Yet  the  other  had  so  sweet  a  voice." 

"Which  one?" 

"She  who  has  fallen  in  love  with  the  sun." 

"Monsieur  de  St.  Aignan!" 

"Forgive  me,  sire.' 

*'Well,  I  am  not  sorry  you  should  believe  me  to  be  an 
admirer  of  sweet  voices  as  well  as  of  beautiful  eyes.  I 
know  you  to  be  a  terrible  talker,  and  to-morrow  I  shall  have 
to  pay  for  the  confidence  I  have  shown  you." 

"What  do  you  mean,  sire?" 

TEN   YEAKS    LATER.  297 

"That  to-morrow  every  one  -will  know  that  I  have  designs 
upon  this  little  La  Valliere;  but  be  careful,  St.  Aignan,  I 
have  confided  my  secret  to  no  one  but  you,  and  if  any  one 
should  speak  to  me  about  it  I  shall  know  who  has  betrayed 
my  secret." 

"You  are  angry,  sire." 

"No;  but  you  understand  I  do  not  wish  to  compromise 
the  poor  girl." 

"Do  not  be  afraid,  sire." 

"You  promise  me,  then?" 

"I  give  you  my  word  of  honor." 

"Excellent,"  thought  the  king,  laughing  to  himself; 
"now  every  one  will  know  to-morrow  that  I  have  been  run- 
ning about  after  La  Valliere  to-night." 

Then,  endeavoring  to  see  where  he  was,  he  said:  "Why, 
we  have  lost  ourselves." 

"Not  quite  so  bad  as  that,  sire." 

"Where  does  that  gate  lead  to?" 

"To  the  great  Road  Point,  sire." 

"Where  we  were  going  when  we  heard  the  sound  of 
women's  voices?" 

"Yes,  sire,  and  the  termination  of  a  conversation  in  which 
I  had  the  honor  of  hearing  my  own  name  pronounced  by  the 
side  of  your  majesty's." 

"You  return  to  that.subject  very  frequently,  St.  Aignan." 

"Your  majesty  will  forgive  me,  but  I  am  delighted  to 
know  that  a  women  exists  whose  thoughts  are  occupied 
about  me,  without  my  knowledge,  and  without  having  done 
anything  to  deserve  it.  Your  majesty  cannot  comprehend 
this  satisfaction,  for  your  rank  and  merit  attract  attention 
and  compel  regard." 

"No,  no,  St.  Aignan,  believe  me  or  not,  as  you  like," 
said  the  king,  leaning  familiarly  upon  St.  Aignan's  arm, 
and  taking  the  path  which  he  thought  would  lead  him  to 
the  chdteau;  "but  this  candid  confession,  this  perfectly  dis- 
interested preference  of  one  who  will,  perhaps,  never  at- 
tract my  attention — in  one  word,  the  mystery  of  this 
adventure  excites  me,  and  the  truth  is,  that  if  I  were  not 
so  taken  with  La  Valliere " 

"Do  not  let  that  interfere  with  your  majesty's  intentions; 
you  have  time  enough  before  you." 

"What  do  you  mean?" 

"La  Valliere  is  said  to  be  very  strict  in  her  ideas." 

"You  excite  my  curiosity,  and  I  am  anxious  to  find  her 
again.     Come,  let  us  walk  on." 

298  TEN   TEARS   LATER. 

The  king  spoke  nntrnly,  for  nothing,  on  the  contrary, 
could  make  him  less  anxious;  but  he  had  a  part  to  play,  and 
so  he  walked  on  hurriedly.  St.  Aignan  followed  him  at  a 
short  distance.  Suddenly  the  king  stopped;  the  courtier 
followed  his  example. 

"St.  Aignan,"  he  said,  "do  you  not  hear  some  one 

"Yes,  sire,  and  crying,  too,  it  seoms." 

"It  is  in  this  direction,"  said  the  king.  "It  sounds  like 
the  tears  and  sobs  of  a  woman." 

"Eun,"said  the  king;  and,  following  a  by-path,  they  ran 
across  the  grass.  As  they  approached  the  cries  were  more 
distinctly  heard. 

"Help!  help!"  exclaimed  two  voices.  The  king  and  his 
companion  redoubled  their  speed,  and  as  they  approached 
nearer  the  sighs  they  had  heard  were  changed  into  loud 
sobs.  The  cry  of  "Help!  help!"  was  again  repeated;  at 
the  sound  of  which  the  king  and  St.  Aignan  increased  the 
rapidity  of  their  pace.  Suddenly,  at  the  other  side  of  a 
ditch,  under  the  branches  of  a  willow,  they  perceived  a 
woman  on  her  knees,  holding  another  in  her  arms,  who 
seemed  to  have  fainted.  A  fcAV  paces  from  them,  a  third, 
standing  in  the  middle  of  the  path,  was  calling  for  assist- 
ance. Perceiving  two  gentlemen,  whose  rank  she  could 
not  tell,  her  cries  for  assistance  were  redoubled.  The  king, 
who  was  in  advance  of  his  companion,  leaped  across  the 
ditch,  and  reached  the  group  at  the  very  moment  when, 
from  the  end  of  the  path  which  led  to  the  chateau,  a  dozen 
persons  were  approaching,  who  had  been  drawn  to  the  spot 
by  the  same  cries  which  had  attracted  the  attention  of  the 
king  and  M.  de  St.  Aignan. 

"What  is  the  matter,  young  ladies?"  said  Louis. 

"The  king!"  exclaimed  Mile,  de  Montalais,  in  her  aston- 
ishment letting  La  Valliere's  head  fall  upon  the  ground. 

"Yes,  it  is  the  king;  but  that  is  no  reason  why  you  should 
abandon  your  companion.     Who  is  she?" 

"It  is  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere,  sire." 

"Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere?" 

"Yes,  sire;  she  has  just  fainted." 

"Poor  child!"  said  the  king.  "Quick,  quick,  fetch  a 
surgeon!"  But  hoAvever  great  the  anxiety  with  which  the 
king  had  pronounced  these  words  may  have  seemed  to 
others,  he  had  not  so  carefully  watched  over  himself  that 
they  appeared,  as  well  as  the  gesture  which  accompanied 
them,  somewhat  cold  to  St.  Aignan,  to  whom  the  king  had 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  299 

confided  the  great  affection  with  which  she  had  inspired 

'"St.  Aignan,'*  continued  the  king,  ''watch  over  Made- 
moiselle de  la  Valliere,  I  beg.  Send  for  a  surgeon.  I  will 
hasten  forward  and  inform  madame  of  the  accident  Avhich 
has  befallen  one  of  her  maids  of  honor."  And,  in  fact, 
while  M.  de  St.  Aignan  was  busily  engaged  in  making  prep- 
arations for  carrying  Mile,  de  la  Valliere  to  the  chateau, 
the  king  hurried  forward,  happy  to  have  an  opportunity  of 
approaching  madame,  and  of  speaking  to  her  under  some 
colorable  pretext.  Fortunately,  a  carriage  was  passing;  the 
coachman  was  told  to  stop,  and  the  persons  who  were  inside, 
having  been  informed  of  the  accident,  eagerly  gave  up  their 
seats  to  Mile,  de  la  Valliere.  The  current  of  fresh  air  pro- 
duced by  the  rapid  motion  of  the  carriage  soon  recalled  her 
to  her  senses.  Having  reached  the  chateau,  she  was  able, 
though  very  weak,  to  alight  from  the  carriage,  and,  with 
the  assistance  of  Athenais  and  of  Montalais,  to  reach  the 
inner  apartments.  They  made  her  sit  down  in  one  of  the 
rooms  of  the  ground-floor.  After  awhile,  as  the  accident 
had  not  produced  much  effect  upon  those  who  had  been 
walking,  the  promenade  was  resumed.  During  this  time, 
the  king  had  found  madame  beneath  a  tree  with  overhang- 
ing branches,  and  had  seated  himself  by  her  side. 

''Take  care,  sire,"  said  Henrietta  to  him,  in  a  low  tone, 
"you  do  not  show  yourself  as  indifferent  as  you  should  be." 

"Alas!"  replied  the  king,  in  the  same  tone,  "I  much  fear 
we  have  entered  into  an  agreement  above  our  strength  to 
keep."  He  then  added,  aloud:  "You  have  heard  of  the 
accident,  I  suppose?" 

"What  accident?" 

"Oh!  in  seeing  you,  I  forgot  that  I  had  come  expressly 
to  tell  you  of  it.  I  am,  however,  painfully  affected  by  it; 
one  of  your  maids  of  honor,  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere, 
has  just  fainted." 

"Indeed!  poor  girl,"  said  the  princess  quietly;  "what 
was  the  cause  of  it?" 

She  then  added,  in  an  undertone,  "You  forget,  sire, 
that  you  wish  others  to  believe  in  your  passion  for  this  girl, 
and  yet  you  remain  here  while  she  is  almost  dying,  perhaps, 

"Ah!  madame,"  said  the  king,  sighing,  "how  much  more 
perfect  you  are  in  your  part  than  I  am,  and  how  well  you 
think  of  everything." 

He  then  rose,  saying  loud  enough  for  every  one  to  hear 

300  TEN    YEAKS   LATER. 

him:  "Permit  me  to  leave  you,  madame;  my  uneasiness  is 
very  great,  and  I  wish  to  be  quite  certain,  myself,  that 
proper  attention  has  been  given  to  Mademoiselle  de  la 
Valliere."  And  the  king  left  again  to  return  to  La  Val- 
liere,  while  those  who  had  been  present  commented  upon 
the  king's  remark:  'My  uneasiness  is  very  great.' 


THE     king's     secret. 

On  his  way  Louis  met  the  Comte  de  St.  Aignan.  "Well, 
.  St.  Aignan,"  he  inquired,  with  affected  interest,  ''how  is 
the  invalid?" 

"Really,  sire,"  stammered  St.  Aignan,  "to  my  shame,  I 
confess  I  do  not  know." 

"What!  you  do  not  know?"  said  the  king,  pretending  to 
take  in  a  serious  manner  this  want  of  attention  for  the 
object  of  his  predilection. 

"Will  your  majesty  pardon  me;  but  I  have  just  met  one 
of  our  three  loquacious  wood-nymphs,  and  I  confess  that 
my  attention  has  been  taken  away  from  other  matters." 

"Ah!"  said  the  king  eagerly,  "you  have  found,  then " 

"The  one  who  deigned  to  speak  of  me  in  such  advantagous 
terms;  and,  having  found  mine,  I  was  searching  for  yours, 
sire,  when  I  had  the  happiness  to  meet  your  majesty." 

"Very  well;  but  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere  before  every- 
thing else,"  said  the  king,  faithful  to  the  character  he  had 

"Oh!  our  charming  invalid!"  said  St.  Aignan;  "how 
fortunately  her  fainting  came  on,  since  your  majesty  had 
already  occupied  yourself  about  her." 

"What  is  the  name  of  your  fair  lady,  St.  Aignan?  Is  it 
a  secret?" 

"It  ought  to  be  a  secret,  and  a  very  great  one,  even;  but 
your  majesty  is  well  aware  that  no  secret  can  possibly  exist 
for  you." 

"Well,  what  is  her  name?" 

"Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Charente." 

"Is  she  pretty?" 

"Exceedingly  so,  sire;  and  I  recognized  the  voice  which 
pronounced  my  name  in  such  tender  accents.  I  then  ac- 
costed her,  questioned  her  as  well  as  I  was  able  to  do  in 
the  midst  of  the  crowd;  and  she  told  me,  without  suspect- 

TEN   YEARS   LATER.  301 

ing  anything,  that  a  'ittle  while  ago  she  was  under  the  great 
oak,  with  her  two  friends,  when  the  appearance  of  a  wolf 
or  a  robber  had  terrified  them,  and  made  them  run  away." 

"But,"  inquired  the  king  anxiously,  "what  are  the 
names  of  these  two  friends?" 

"Sire,"  said  St.  Aignan,  "will  your  majesty  send  me 
forthwith  to  the  Bastile?" 

"What  for?" 

"Because  I  am  an  egotist  and  a  fool.  My  surprise  was  so 
great  at  such  a  conquest,  and  at  so  fortunate  a  discovery, 
that  I  went  no  further  in  my  inquiries.  Besides,  I  did  not 
think  that  your  majesty  would  attach  any  very  great  im- 
portance to  what  you  heard,  knowing  how  much  your  atten- 
tion was  taken  up  by  Mademoiselle  dela  Valliere;  and  then. 
Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Charente  left  me  precipitately  to 
return  to  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere." 

"Let  us  hope,  then,  that  I  shall  be  as  fortunate  as  your- 
self.    Come,  St.  Aignan." 

"Your  majesty  is  ambitious,  I  perceive,  and  does  not  wish 
to  allow  any  conquest  to  escape  you.  Well,  I  assure  you 
that  I  will  conscientiously  set  about  my  inquiries;  and, 
moreover,  from  one  of  the  three  Graces  we  shall  learn  the 
names  of  the  others,  and,  by' the  name,  the  secret." 

"I,  too,"  said  the  king,  "only  require  to  hear  her  voice 
to  know  it  again.  Come,  let  us  say  no  more  about  it,  but 
show  me  where  poor  La  Valliere  is." 

"Well,"  thought  St.  Aignan,  "the  king's  regard  is  begin- 
ing  to  display  itself,  and  for  that  girl,  too.  It  is  extraor- 
dinary; I  should  never  have  believed  it."  And  with  this 
thought  passing  through  his  mind,  he  showed  the  king  the 
room  where  La  Valliere  had  been  taken;  the  king  entered, 
followed  by  St.  Aignan.  In  a  low  room,  near  a  large  win- 
dow looking  out  upon  the  gardens,  La  Valliere,  reclining 
in  a  large  armchair,  inhaled  in  deep  draughts  the  perfumed 
evening  breeze.  From  the  loosened  body  of  her  dress  the 
lace  fell  in  tumbled  folds,  mingling  with  the  tresses  of  her 
beautiful  fair  hair,  which  lay  scattered  upon  her  shoulders. 
Her  languishing  eyes  were  filled  with  tears;  she  seemed  as 
lifeless  as  those  beautiful  visions  of  our  dreams,  which  jiass 
before  the  closed  eyes  of  the  sleeper,  half-opening  their 
wings  without  moving  them,  unclosing  their  lips  without  a 
sound  escaping  them.  The  pearl-like  pallor  of  La  Valliere 
possessed  a  charm  which  it  would  be  impossible  to  describe. 
Mental  and  bodily  suffering  had  produced  upon  her  features 
a  soft  and  noble  expression  of  grief;  from  the  perfect  pas- 

303  TEN"   TEARS   LATER. 

siveness  of  her  arms  and  bust,  she  more  resembled  one 
whose  sonl  had  passed  away  than  a  living  being;  she  seemed 
not  to  hear  either  the  whisperings  of  her  companions  or  the 
distant  murmurs  which  arose  from  the  neighborhood.  She 
seemed  to  be  communing  within  herself;  and  her  beautiful, 
slender,  and  delicate  hands  trembled  from  time  to  time,  as 
though  from  the  contact  of  some  invisible  touch.  She  was 
so  completely  absorbed  in  her  reverie  that  the  king  entered 
without  her  perceiving  him.  At  a  distance  he  gazed  upon 
her  lovely  face,  upon  which  the  moon  shed  its  pure  silvery 

"Good  heavens!"  he  exclaimed,  with  a  terror  he  could 
not  control,  "she  is  dead!" 

"No,  sire,"  said  Montalais,  in  a  low  voice;  "on  the  con- 
trary, she  is  better.     Are  you  not  better,  Louise?" 

But  Louise  did  not  answer.  "Louise,"  continued  Mon- 
talais, "the  king  has  deigned  to  express  his  uneasiness  on 
your  account." 

"The  king!"  exclaimed  Louise,  starting  up  abruptly,  as 
if  a  stream  of  fire  had  darted  through  her  frame  to  her 
heart;  "the  king  uneasy  about  me?" 

"Yes,"  said  Montalais. 

"The  king  is  here,  then?"  said  La  Valliere,  not  ventur- 
ing to  look  round  her. 

"That  voice!  that  voice!"  whispered  Louis  eagerly  to 
St.  Aignan. 

"Yes,  it  is  so,"  replied  St.  Aignan;  "your  majesty  is 
right;  it  is  she  who  declared  her  love  for  the  sun." 

"Hush!"  said  the  king.  And  then  approaching  La  Val- 
liere, he  said,  "You  are  not  well.  Mademoiselle  de  la  Val- 
liere? Just  now,  indeed,  in  the  park,  I  saw  that  you  had 
fainted.     How  were  you  attacked?" 

"Sire,"  stammered  out  the  poor  child,  pale  and  trem- 
bling, "I  really  do  not  know." 

"You  have  been  walking  too  much,"  said  the  king;  "and 
fatigue,  perhaps " 

"No,  sire,"  said  Montalais  eagerly,  answering  for  her 
friend,  "it  could  not  be  from  fatigue,  for  we  passed  part  of 
the  evening  seated  beneath  the  royal  oak." 

"Under  the  royal  oak?"  returned  the  king,  starting.  "I 
was  not  deceived;  it  is  as  I  thought."  And  he  directed  a 
look  of  intelligence  at  the  comte. 

"Yes,"  said  St.  Aignan,  "under  the  royal  oak,  with 
Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Charente." 

"How  do  you  know  that?"  inquired  Montalais. 


"In  a  v6ry  simple  way.  Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay- 
Charente  told  me  so." 

"In  that  case,  she  probably  told  you  the  cause  of  Made- 
moiselle de  la  Valliere  fainting." 

"Why,  yes;  she  told  me  something  about  a  wolf  or  a  rob- 
ber. I  forget  precisely  which."  La  Valliere  listened,  her 
eyes  fixed,  her  bosom  heaving,  as  if,  gifted  with  an  acute- 
ness  of  perception,  she  foresaw  a  portion  of  the  truth. 
Louis  imagined  this  attitude  and  agitation  to  be  the  conse- 
quence of  a  terror  but  partially  removed.  "Nay,  fear  noth- 
ing," he  said,  with  a  rising  emotion  which  he  could  not 
conceal;  "the  wolf  which  terrified  you  so  much  was  simply 
a  wolf  with  two  legs." 

"It  was  a  man,  then,"  said  Louise;  "it  was  a  man  who 
was  listening?" 

"Suppose  it  were,  mademoiselle,  what  great  evil  was  there 
in  his  having  listened?  Is  it  likely  that,  even  in  your  own 
opinion,  you  would  have  said  anything  which  could  not 
have  been  listened  to?" 

La  Valliere  wrung  her  hands,  and  hid  her  face  in  them, 
as  if  to  hide  her  blushes.  "In  heaven's  name,"  she  said, 
"who  was  concealed  there?  who  was  listening?" 

The  king  advanced  toward  her,  to  take  hold  of  one  of 
her  hands.  "It  was  I,"  he  said,  bowing  with  marked  re- 
spect. "Is  it  likely  I  could  have  frightened  you?"  La 
Valliere  uttered  a  loud  cry;  for  the  second  time  her  strength 
forsook  her,  and,  cold,  moaning,  and  in  utter  despair,  she 
again  fell  apparently  lifeless  in  her  chair.  The  king  had 
just  time  to  hold  out  his  arm;  so  that  she  was  partially  sup- 
ported by  him.  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente  and  Montaiais, 
who  stood  a  few  paces  from  the  kiug  and  La  Valliere, 
motionless  and  almost  petrified  at  the  recollection  of  the 
conversation  with  La  Valliere,  did  not  think  even  of  offer- 
ing their  assistance  to  her,  feeling  restrained  by  the  pres- 
ence of  the  king,  who,  with  one  knee  on  the  ground,  held 
La  Valliere  round  the  waist  with  his  arm. 

"You  heard,  sire!"  murmured  Athenais.  But  the  king 
did  not  reply;  he  remained  with  his  eyes  fixed  upon  La 
Valliere's  half-closed  eyes,  and  held  her  drooping  hand  in 
his  own. 

"Of  course,"  replied  St.  Aignan,  who,  on  his  side,  hop- 
ing that  Mile,  de  Tonnay-Charente  would  faint,  advanced 
toward  her,  holding  his  arms  extended;  "of  course;  we  did 
not  even  lose  a  word."  But  the  haughty  Athenais  was  not 
a  woman  to  faint  easily;  she  darted  a  terrible  look  at  St. 


Aignan,  and  fled.  Ivlontalais,  with  more  courage,  advanced 
hurriedly  toward  Louise,  and  received  her  from  the  king's 
hands,  who  was  already  fast  losing  his  presence  of  mind, 
as  he  felt  his  face  covered  by  the  perfumed  tresses  of  the 
seemingly  dying  girl.  "Excellent,"  said  St.  Aignan. 
"This  is  indeed  an  adventure;  and  it  will  be  my  own  fault 
if  I  am  not  the  first  to  relate  it." 

The  king  approached  him,  and  with  a  trembling  voice 
and  a  passionate  gesture,  said,  "Not  a  syllable,  comte." 

The  poor  king  forgot  that,  only  an  hour  before,  he  had 
given  him  a  similar  recommendation,  but  with  the  very 
opposite  intention,  namely,  that  the  comte  should  be  indis- 
creet. It  was  a  matter  of  course  that  the  latter  recom- 
mendation was  quite  as  unnecessary  as  the  former.  Half 
an  hour  afterward  everybody  in  Fontainebleau  knew  that 
Mile,  de  la  Valliere  had  had  a  conversation  under  the  royal 
oak  with  Montalais  and  Tonnay-Oharente,  and  that  in  this 
conversation  she  had  confessed  her  affection  for  the  king. 
It  was  known,  also,  that  the  king,  after  having  manifested 
the  uneasiness  with  which  Mile,  de  la  Valliere's  health  had 
inspired  him,  had  turned  pale,  and  trembled  very  much  as 
he  received  the  beautiful  girl  fainting  in  his  arms;  so  that 
it  was  quite  agreed  among  the  courtiers  that  the  greatest 
event  of  the  period  had  just  been  revealed;  that  his  majesty 
loved  Mile,  de  la  Valliere,  and  that,  consequently.  Monsieur 
could  now  sleep  in  perfect  tranquillity.  It  was  this,  even, 
that  the  queen-mother,  as  surprised  as  the  others  by  this 
sudden  change,  hastened  to  tell  the  young  queen  and 
Philippe  d' Orleans.  Only  she  set  to  work  in  a  different 
manner,  by  attacking  them  in  the  following  way.  To  her 
daughter-in-law  she  said,  "See,  now,  Therese,  how  very 
wrong  you  were  to  accuse  the  king';  now  it  is  said  he  is  de- 
voted to  some  other  person;  why  should  there  be  any  greater 
truth  in  the  report  of  to-day  than  in  that  of  yesterday,  or 
in  that  of  yesterday  than  in  that  of  to-day?"  To  Monsieur, 
in  relating  to  him  the  adventure  of  the  royal  oak,  she  said, 
"Are  you  not  very  absurd  in  your  jealousies,  my  dear 
Philip?  It  is  asserted  that  the  king  is  madly  in  love  with 
that  little  La  Valliere.  Say  nothing  of  it  to  your  wife;  for 
the  queen  will  know  all  about  it  very  soon."  This  latter 
confidential  communication  had  an  immediate  result. 
Monsieur,  who  had  regained  his  composure,  went  trium- 
phantly to  look  after  his  wife,  and  as  it  was  not  yet  mid- 
night and  the  fete  was  to  continue  until  two  in  the  morn- 
ing, he  offered  her  his  hand  for  a  promenade.     At  the  end 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  305 

of  a  few  panes,  however,  the  first  thing  he  did  was  to  dis- 
obey his  mother's  injunctions. 

"Do  not  go  and  tell  any  one,  the  queen  least  of  all,"  he 
said  mysteriously,  "what  people  say  about  the  king." 

"What  do  they  say  about  him?"  inquired  madame. 

"That  my  brother  has  fallen  suddenly  in  love." 

"With  whom?" 

"With  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere."  As  it  was  dark, 
madame  could  smile  at  her  ease. 

"Ah!"  she  said,  "and  how  long  is  it  since  this  has  been 
the  case?" 

"For  some  days,  so  it  seems.  But  that  was  nothing  but 
pure  nonsense;  but  it  is  only  this  evening  that  he  has  re- 
vealed his  passion." 

"The  king  shows  his  good  taste,"  said  madame;  "and  in 
my  opinion  she  is  a  very  charming  girl." 

"I  verily  believe  you  are  jesting." 

"I!  in  what  way?" 

"In  any  case  this  passion  will  make  some  one  very  happy, 
even  if  it  be  only  La  Valliere  herself." 

"Really,"  continued  the  princess,  "you  speak  as  if  you 
had  read  into""  the  inmost  recesses  of  La  Yalliere's  heart. 
Who  has  told  you  that  she  agrees  to  return  the  king's 

"And  who  has  told  you  that  she  will  not  return  it?" 

"She  loves  the  Vicomte  de  Bragelonne." 

"You  think  so." 

"She  is  even  affianced  to  him." 

"She  was  so." 

"What  do  you  mean?" 

"When  they  went  to  ask  the  king's  permission  to  arrange 
the  marriage  he  refused  his  permission." 


"Yes,  although  the  request  was  preferred  by  the  Comte 
de  la  Fere  himself,  for  whom  the  king  has  the  greatest  re- 
gard, on  account  of  the  part  he  took  in  your  brother's 
restoration,  and  in  other  events,  also,  which  happened  a 
long  time  ago." 

"Well,  the  poor  lovers  must  wait  until  the  king  is  pleased 
to  change  his  opinion;  they  are  young,  and  there  is  time 

"But,  dear  me,"  said  Philip,  laughing,  "I  perceive  that 
you  do  not  know  the  best  part  of  the  afEair." 


"That  by  which  the  king  was  most  deeply  touched." 

306  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

"The  king,  do  you  say,  has  been  deeply  touched?* 

•^'To  the  very  heart." 

"But  how?  in  what  manner?  tell  me  directly." 

"By  an  adventure,  the  romance  of  which  cannot  be 

"You  know  how  I  love  such  adventures,  and  yet  you  keep 
me  waiting,"  said  the  princess  impatiently. 

"Well,  then — "  and  Monsieur  paused. 

"I  am  listening." 

"Under  the  royal  oak — you  know  where  the  royal  oak  is?" 

"What  can  that  matter?  Under  the  royal  oak,  you  were 

"Well,  Mademoiselle  dela  Valliere,  fancying  herself  alone 
with  her  two  friends^  revealed  to  them  her  affection  for  the 

"Ah!"  said  madame,  beginning  to  be  uneasy,  "her  affec- 
tion for  the  king?" 


"When  was  this?" 

"About  an  hour  ago." 

Madame  started,  and  then  said,  "And  no  one  knew  of 
this  affection?" 

"No  one." 

"Not  even  his  majesty?" 

"Not  even  his  majesty.  The  little  creature  kept  her 
secret  most  strictly  to  herself,  when  suddenly  it  proved 
stronger  than  herself,  and  so  escaped  her." 

"And  from  whom  did  you  get  this  absurd  tale?" 

"Why,  as  everybody  else  did,  from  La  Valliere  herself, 
who  confessed  her  love  to  Montalais  and  Tonnay-Charente, 
who  were  her  comijauions." 

Madame  stopped  suddenly,  and  by  a  hasty  movement  let 
go  her  husband's  hand. 

"Did  you  say  it  was  an  hour  ago  she  made  this  confes- 
sion?" madame  inquired. 

"About  that  time." 

"Is  the  king  aware  of  it?" 

"Why,  that  is  the  very  thing  which  constitutes  the  whole 
romance  of  the  affair,  for  the  king  was  behind  the  royal  oak 
with  St.  Aignan,  and  he  heard  the  whole  of  the  interesting 
conversation  without  losing  a  single  word  of  it." 

Madame  felt  struck  to  the  heart,  saying  incautiously: 
**But  I  have  seen  the  king  since,  and  he  never  told  me  a 
word  about  it." 

"Of  course,'^  said  Monsieur^  "he  took  care  not  to  speak 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  307 

of  it  to  you  himself,  since  he  recommended  every  one  not 
to  say  a  word  about  it  to  you." 

"What  do  you  mean?"  said  madame,  irritated. 

"I  mean  that  they  wished  to  keep  you  in  ignorance  of  the 
affair  altogether." 

"But  why  should  they  wish  to  conceal  it  from  me?" 

"From  the  fear  that  your  friendship  for  the  young  queen 
might  induce  you  to  say  something  about  it  to  her,  nothing 

Madame  hung  down  her  head;  her  feelings  were  grievously 
wounded.  She  could  not  enjoy  a  moment's  repose  until 
she  had  met  the  king.  As  a  king  is,  most  naturally,  the 
very  last  person  in  his  kingdom  who  knows  what  is  said 
about  him,  in  the  same  way  that  a  lover  is  the  only  one  who 
is  kept  in  ignorance  of  what  is  said  about  his  mistress, 
therefore,  when  the  king  perceived  madame,  who  was  look- 
ing for  him,  he  approached  her  somewhat  disturbed,  but 
still  gracious  and  attentive  in  his  manner.  Madame  waited 
for  him  to  speak  about  La  Valliere  first;  but  as  he  did  not 
speak  of  her,  she  said,  "And  the  poor  girl?" 

"What  poor  girl?"  said  the  king. 

"La  Valliere.  Did  you  not  tell  me,  sire,  that  she  had 

"She  is  still  very  ill,"  said  the  king,  affecting  the  great- 
est indifference. 

"But  surely  that  will  prejudicially  affect  the  rumor  you 
were  going  to  spread,  sire?" 

"What  rumor?" 

"That  your  attention  was  taken  up  by  her." 

"Oh!"  said  the  king  carelessly,  "I  trust  it  will  be  re- 
ported all  the  same." 

Madame  still  waited;  she  wished  to  know  if  the  king 
would  speak  to  her  of  the  adventure  of  the  royal  oak.  But 
the  king  did  not  say  a  word  about  it.  Madame,  on  her 
side,  did  not  open  her  lips  about  the  adventure,  so  that  the 
king  took  leave  of  her  without  having  reposed  the  slightest 
confidence  in  her.  Hardly  had  she  seen  the  king  move 
away  than  she  set  out  in  search  of  St.  Aignan.  St.  Aignan 
was  never  very  difficult  to  find;  he  was  like  the  smaller 
vessels  which  always  follow  in  the  wake  of,  and  as  tenders 
to,  the  larger  ships.  St.  Aignan  was  the  very  man  whom 
madame  needed  in  her  then  state  of  mind.  And  as  for 
him,  he  only  looked  for  worthier  ears  than  others  he  had 
found,  to  have  an  opportunity  of  recounting  the  event  with 
all  its  details.     And  therefore  he  did  not  spare  madame  a 

308  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

single  word  of  the  whole  affair.  When  he  had  finished 
madame  said  to  him,  "Confess,  now,  that  it  is  all  a  charm- 
ing invention." 

"Invention,  no;  a  true  story,  yes,'* 

"Confess,  whether  invention  or  true  story,  that  it  was 
told  to  you  as  you  have  told  it  to  me,  but  that  you  were  not 

"Upon  my  honor,  madame,  I  was  there." 

"And  you  think  that  these  confessions  may  have  made 
an  impression  upon  the  king?" 

"Certainly,  as  those  of  Mademoiselle  Tonnay-Charente 
did  upon  me,"  replied  St.  Aignan;  "do  not  forget,  ma- 
dame, that  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere  compared  the  king 
to  the  sun;  that  was  flattering  enough." 

"The  king  does  not  permit  himself  to  be  influenced  by 
such  flatteries." 

"Madame,  the  king  is  just  as  much  man  as  sun,  and  I 
saw  that  plain  enough  just  noAv  when  La  Valliere  fell  into 
his  arms." 

"La  Valliere  fell  into  the  king's  arms?" 

"Oh!  it  was  the  most  graceful  picture  possible;  just 
imagine.  La  Valliere  had  fallen  back  fainting,  and " 

"Well,  what  did  you  see?  tell  me — speak!" 

"I  saw  what  ten  other  people  saw  at  the  same  time  as 
myself;  I  saw  that  when  La  Valliere  fell  into  his  arms  the 
king  almost  fainted  himself." 

Madame  uttered  a  subdued  cry,  the  only  indication  of  her 
smothered  auger.  "Thank  you,"  she  said,  laughing  in  a 
convulsive  manner,  "you  relate  stories  delightfully.  Mon- 
sieur de  St.  Aignan."  And  she  hurried  away,  alone  and 
almost  suffocated  by  her  feelings,  toward  the  chateau. 



Mo^TSiEUR  had  quitted  the  princess  in  the  best  possible 
humor,  and  feeling  very  fatigued,  had  retired  to  his  apart- 
ments, leaving  every  one  to  finish  the  night  as  he  chose. 
When  in  his  room,  Monsieur  began  to  dress  for  the  night 
with  careful  attention,  which  displayed  itself  from  time  to 
time  in  paroxysms  of  satisfaction.  While  his  attendants 
were  engaged  in  dressing  him  he  sang  the  principal  airs  of 
the  ballet  which  the  violins  had  played  and  to  which  the 

TEN    TEARS    LATER.  309 

king  had  danced.  He  then  summoned  his  tailors,  inspected 
his  costumes  for  the  next  day,  and,  in  token  of  his  extreme 
satisfaction,  distributed  various  presents  among  them.  As, 
however,  the  Chevalier  de  Lorraine,  who  had  seen  the  prince 
return  to  the  chateau,  entered  the  room.  Monsieur  over- 
whelmed him  with  kindness.  The  former,  after  having 
saluted  the  prince,  remained  silent  for  a  moment,  like  a 
sharpshooter  who  deliberates  before  deciding  in  what  direc- 
tion he  will  renew  his  fire;  then,  seeming  to  make  up  his 
mind,  he  said,  "Have  you  remarked  a  very  singular  circum- 
stance, monseigneur?" 

"No;  what  is  it?" 

"The  bad  reception  which  his  majesty,  in  aj^pearance, 
gave  the  Comte  de  Guiche." 

"In  appearance?" 

"Yes,  certainly;  since,  in  reality,  he  has  restored  him  to 

"I  did  not  notice  it,'^  said  the  prince. 

"What,  did  you  not  remark  that,  instead  of  ordering 
him  to  return  to  his  exile,  as  would  have  been  natural,  he 
encouraged  him  in  his  opposition  by  permitting  him  to 
resume  his  place  in  the  ballet?" 

"And  you  think  the  king  was  wrong,  chevalier?"  said 
the  prince. 

"Are  you  not  of  my  opinion,  prince?" 

"Not  altogether  so,  my  dear  chevalier;  and  I  think  the 
king  was  quite  right  not  to  have  made  a  disturbance  against  a 
poor  fellow  whose  want  of  judgment  is  more  to  be  com- 
plained of  than  his  intention." 

"Really,"  said  the  chevalier,  "as  far  as  I  am  concerned, 
I  confess  that  this  magnanimity  astonishes  me  to  the  high- 
est degree." 

"Why  so?"  inquired  Philip. 

"Because  I  should  have  thought  the  king  had  been  more 
Jealous,"  replied  the  chevalier  spitefully.  During  the  last 
few  minutes  Monsieur  had  felt  there  was  something  of  an 
irritating  nature  concealed  under  his  favorite's  remarks; 
this  last  word,  however,  had  ignited  the  powder. 

"Jealous!"  exclaimed  the  prince.  "Jealous!  what  do 
you  mean?  Jealous  of  what,  if  you  please — or  Jealous  of 

The  chevalier  perceived  that  he  had  allowed  one  of  those 
mischievous  remarks  to  escape  him,  as  he  was  sometimes  in 
the  habit  of  doing.  He  endeavored,  therefore,  to  recall  it 
while  it  was  still  possible  to  do  so.     "Jealous  of  his  author- 

310  TEN    TEARS   LATER. 

ity,"  he  said,  with  an  assumed  frankness;  ''of  what   else 
would  yon  have  the  king  be  jealous?" 

'*Ah!"  said  the  prince,  "that's  very  proper." 

"Did  your  royal  highness,"  continued  the  chevalier, 
"solicit  dear  De  Guiche's  pardon?" 

"No,  indeed,"  said  Monsieur.  "De  Guiche  is  an  excel- 
lent fellow,  and  full  of  courage;  but  as  I  do  not  approve  of 
his  conduct  with  madame,  I  wish  him  neither  harm  nor 

The  chevalier  had  assumed  a  bitterness  with  regard  to 
De  Guiche,  as  he  had  attempted  to  do  with  the  king;  but 
he  thought  that  he  perceived  that  the  time  for  indulgence, 
and  even  for  the  utmost  indifference,  had  arrived,  and  that, 
in  order  to  throw  some  light  on  the  question,  it  might  be 
necessary  for  him  to  put  the  lamp,  as  the  saying  is,  under 
the  husband's  nose  even. 

"Very  well,  very  well,"  said  the  chevalier  to  himself;  "I 
shall  wait  for  De  Wardes;  he  will  do  more  in  one  day  than 
I  in  a  month;  for  I  verily  believe  that  he  is  still  more 
jealous  than  I  am.  Then,  again,  it  is  not  De  Wardes  even 
whom  I  require  so  much  as  that  some  event  or  another 
should  happen;  and  in  the  whole  of  this  affair  I  see  none. 
That  De  Guiche  returned  after  he  had  been  sent  away  is 
certainly  serious  enough,  but  all  its  seriousness  disappears 
when  I  learn  that  De  Guiche  has  returned  at  the  very 
moment  madame  troubles  herself  no  longer  about  him. 
Madame,  in  fact,  is  occupied  with  the  king,  that  is  clear; 
but  she  will  not  be  so  much  longer  if,  as  it  is  asserted,  the 
king  has  ceased  to  occupy  himself  about  her.  The  result 
of  the  whole  matter  is,  to  remain  perfectly  quiet,  and  await 
the  arrival  of  some  new  caprice,  and  let  that  decide  the 
whole  affair."  And  the  chevalier  thereupon  settled  himself 
resignedly  in  the  armchair  in  which  Monsieur  permitted 
him  to  seat  himself  in  his  presence,  and,  having  no  more 
spiteful  or  malicious  remarks  to  make,  tne  consequence  was 
that  the  chevalier's  wit  seemed  to  have  deserted  him.  Most 
fortunately  Monsieur  was  endowed  with  great  good-humor, 
and  he  had  enough  for  two,  until  the  time  arrived  for  dis- 
missing the  servants  and  genWemen  of  the  chamber,  and  he 
passed  into  his  sleeping  apartment.  As  he  withdrew  he 
desired  the  chevalier  to  present  his  complimejits  to  madame, 
and  say  that,  as  the  night  was  cool.  Monsieur,  who  was 
afraid  of  the  toothache,  would  not  venture  out  again  into 
the  park  during  the  remainder  of  the  evening.  The  cheva- 
lier entered  the  princess'  apartments  at  the  very  moment 

TE]Sr   YEARS   LATER.  311 

she  entered  them  herself.  He  acquitted  himself  faithfully 
of  the  commission  which  had  been  intrusted  to  him,  and, 
in  the  first  place,  remarked  the  indifference  and  annoyance 
with  which  madame  received  her  husband's  communication 
— a  circumstance  which  appeared  to  him  fraught  with  some- 
thing quite  fresh.  If  madame  had  been  about  to  leave  her 
apartments  with  that  strangeness  of  manner  about  her,  he 
would  have  followed  her;  but  madame  was  returning  to 
them;  there  was  nothing  to  be  done;  therefore  he  turned 
upon  his  heel  like  an  unemployed  heron,  seemed  to  question 
earth,  air,  and  water  about  it,  shook  his  head,  and  walked 
away  mechanically  in  the  direction  of  the  gardens.  He  had 
hardly  gone  a  hundred  paces  when  he  met  two  young  men, 
walking  arm  in  arm,  with  their  heads  bent  down,  and  idly 
kicking  the  small  stones  out  of  their  path  as  they  walked 
on,  plunged  in  thought.  It  was  De  Guiche  and  De  Brage- 
lonne,  the  sight  of  whom,  as  it  always  did,  produced  upon  the 
chevalier,  instinctively,  a  feeling  of  great  repugnance.  He 
did  not,  however,  the  less,  on  that  account,  salute  them 
with  a  very  low  bow,  and  which  they  returned  with  interest. 
Then,  observing  that  the  park  was  becoming  thinner,  that 
the  illuminations  began  to  burn  out,  and  that  the  morning 
breeze  was  setting  in,  he  turned  to  the  left,  and  entered  the 
chateau  again,  by  one  of  the  smaller  courtyards.  The 
others  turned  aside  to  the  right,  and  continued  on  their 
way  toward  the  large  park.  As  the  chevalier  was  ascending 
the  side  staircase,  which  led  to  the  private  entrance,  he  saw 
a  woman,  followed  by  another,  make  her  appearance  under 
the  arcade  which  led  from  the  small  to  the  large  courtyard. 
The  two  women  walked  so  fast  that  the  rustling  of  their 
dresses  could  be  distinguished  in  the  darkness  of  the  night. 
The  style  of  their  mantelets,  their  graceful  figures,  a  mys- 
terious yet  haughty  carriage  which  distinguished  them  both, 
especially  the  one  who  walked  first,  struck  the  chevalier. 

"I  certainly  know  those  two  persons,"  said  he  to  himself, 
pausing  upon  the  top  step  of  the  small  staircase.  Then,  as 
with  the  instinct  of  a  bloodhound  he  was  about  to  follow 
them,  one  of  the  servants  who  had  been  running  after  him 
arrested  his  attention. 

"Monsieur,"  he  said,  "the  courier  ha«i  arrived." 

"Very  well,"  said  the  chevalier,  "there  is  time  enough; 
to-morrow  will  do." 

"There  are  some  urgent  letters  which  you  would  be  glad 
to  see,  perhaps." 

"Where  from?"  inquired  the  chevalier. 

312  TEK   YEARS    LATER. 

"One  from  England,  and  the  other  from  Calais;  the 
latter  arrived  by  express,  and  seems  of  great  importance." 

"From  Calais!  Who  the  deuce  can  have  written  to  me 
from  Calais?" 

"I  think  I  can  recognize  the  handwriting  of  your  friend 
the  Comte  de  Wardes." 

"Oh!"  cried  the  chevalier,  forgetting  his  intention  of 
acting  the  spy,  "in  that  case  I  will  come  up  at  once."  This 
he  did,  while  the  two  unknown  beings  disappeared  at  the 
end  of  the  court  opposite  to  the  one  by  which  they  had  just 
entered.  We  shall  now  follow  them,  and  leave  the  cheva- 
lier undisturbed  to  his  correspondence.  When  they  had 
arrived  at  the  grove  of  trees,  the  foremost  of  the  two  halted, 
somewhat  out  of  breath,  and  cautiously  raising  her  hood, 
said,  "Are  we  still  far  from  the  tree?" 

"Yes,  madame;  more  than  five  hundred  paces;  but  pray 
rest  awhile,  you  will  not  be  able  to  walk  much  longer  at 
this  pace." 

"You  are  right,"  said  the  princess,  for  it  was  she;  and 
she  leaned  against  a  tree.  "And  now,"  she  resumed,  after 
having  recovered  her  breath,  "tell  me  the  whole  truth,  and 
conceal  nothing  from  me." 

"Oh,  madame!"  said  the  young  girl,  "you  are  already 
angry  with  me." 

"No,  my  dear  Athenais;  reassure  yourself,  I  am  in  no  way 
angry  with  you.  After  all,  these  things  do  not  concern  me 
personally.  You  are  anxious  about  what  you  may  have 
said  under  the  oak;  you  are  afraid  of  having  offended  the 
king,  and  I  wish  to  tranquillize  you  by  ascertaining  myself 
if  it  were  possible  you  could  have  been  overheard." 

"Oh,  yes,  madame,  the  king  was  so  close  to  us." 

"Still,  you  were  not  speaking  so  loud  that  some  of  your 
remarks  may  not  have  been  lost." 

"We  thought  we  were  quite  alone,  madame." 

"There  were  three  of  you,  you  say?" 

"Yes;  La  Valliere,  Montalais,  and  myself." 

"And  you,  individually,  spoke  in  a  light  manner  of  the 

"I  am  afraid  so.  Should  such  be  the  case,  will  your 
highness  have  the  kindness  to  make  my  peace  with  his 

"If  there  should  be  any  occasion  for  it,  I  promise  you  to 
do  so.  However,  as  I  have  already  told  you,  it  will  be 
better  not  to  anticipate  evil,  and  to  be  quite  sure  that  evil 
has  been  committed.     The  night  is  now  very  dark,  and  the 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  313 

darkness  is  still  greater  under  those  large  trees.  It  is  not 
likely  you  were  recognized  by  the  king.  To  inform  him  of 
it,  by  being  the  first  to  speak,  is  to  denounce  yourself." 

"Oh,  madame!  madame!  if  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere 
were  recognized,  I  must  have  been  recognized  also.  Be- 
sides, Monsieur  de  St.  Aignan  did  not  leave  a  doubt  on  the 

"Did  you,  then,  say 'anything  very  disrespectful  of  the 

"Not  at  all  so;  it  was  one  of  the  others  who  made  some 
very  flattering  remarks  about  the  king,  and  my  remarks 
will  have  been  so  much  in  contrast  with  hers." 

"That  Montalais  is  such  a  giddy  girl,"  said  madame. 

"It  was  not  Montalais.  Montalais  said  nothing;  it  was 
La  Valliere." 

Madame  started  as  if  she  had  not  known  it  perfectly 
already.  "No,  no,"  she  said,  "the  king  cannot  have 
heard.  Besides,  we  will  now  try  the  experiment  for  which 
we  came  out.  Show  me  the  oak.  Do  you  know  where  it 
is?"  she  continued. 

"Alas!  madame,  yes." 

"And  you  can  find  it  again?" 

"With  my  eyes  shut." 

"Very  well;  sit  down  on  the  bank  where  you  were,  where 
La  Valliere  was,  and  speak  in  the  tone  and  to  the  same 
effect  as  you  did  before;  I  will  conceal  myself  in  the  thicket, 
and  if  I  can  hear  you  I  will  tell  you  so." 

"Yes,  madame." 

"If,  therefore,  you  really  spoke  sufficiently  loud  for  the 
king  to  have  heard  you,  in  that  case " 

Athenais  seemed  to  await  the  conclusion  of  the  phrase 
with  some  anxiety. 

"In  that  case,"  said  madame,  in  a  suffocated  Toice,  aris- 
ing doubtless  from  her  hurried  progress;  "in  that  case  I 
forbid  you — "  And  madame  again  increased  her  pace. 
Suddenly,  however,  she  stopped.  "An  idea  occurs  to  me," 
she  said. 

"A  good  idea,  no  doubt,  madame,"  replied  Mile,  de 

"Montalais  must  be  as  much  embarrassed  as  La  Valliere 
and  yourself." 

"Less  so,  for  she  is  less  compromised,  having  said  less." 

"That  does  not  matter;  she  will  help  you,  I  dare  say,  by 
deviating  a  little  from  the  exact  truth." 

"Especially   if  she   knows  that   your  highness   is   kind 
enough  to  interest  yourself  about  me." 
Dumas— Vol.  XV.  14= 

314  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

"Very  well;  I  think  I  have  discovered  what  we  want." 

"How  delightful." 

"You  will  say  that  all  three  of  you  were  perfectly  well 
aware  that  the  king  was  behind  the  tree,  or  behind  the 
thicket,  whichever  it  might  have  been;  and  that  you  knew 
Monsieur  de  St.  Aignan  was  there  too." 

"Yes,  madanie." 

"For  you  cannot  disguise  it  from  yourself,  Athenais,  St. 
Aignan  takes  advantage  of  some  very  flattering  remarks 
which  you  made  about  him." 

"Well,  madame,  you  see  very  well  that  one  can  be  over- 
heard," cried  Athenais,  "since  Monsieur  de  St.  Aignan 
overheard  us." 

Madame  bit  her  lips,  for  she  had  thoughtlessly  committed 
herself.  "Oh,  you  know  St.  Aignan's  character  very  well," 
she  said;  "the  favor  the  king  shows  him  almost  turns  his 
brain,  and  he  talks  at  random;  not  only  that,  he  very  often 
invents.  That  is  not  the  question;  the  fact  remains.  Did 
or  did  not  the  king  overhear?" 

"Oh,  yes,  madame,  he  did  hear,"  said  Athenais,  in 

"In  that  case,  do  what  I  said:  maintain  boldly  that  all 
three  of  you  knew — mind,  all  three  of  you,  for  if  there  is  a 
doubt  about  any  one  of  you,  there  will  be  a  doubt  about  all 
— persist,  I  say,  that  you  knew  that  the  king  and  Monsieur 
de  St.  Aignan  were  there,  and  that  you  wished  to  amuse 
yourselves  at  the  expense  of  those  who  were  listening." 

"Oh,  madame,  at  the  king's  expense;  we  never  dare  say 

"It  is  a  simple  jest,  an  innocent  deception  readily  per- 
mitted in  young  girls  whom  men  wish  to  take  by  surprise. 
In  this  manner  everything  is  explained.  What  Montalais 
said  of  Malicorne,  a  mere  jest;  what  you  said  of  Monsieur 
de  St.  Aignan,  a  mere  jest,  too;  and  what  La  Valliere 
might  have  said  of " 

"And  which  she  would  have  given  anything  to  have 

"Are  you  sure  of  that?" 

"Perfectly  so." 

"Very  well;  an  additional  reason,  therefore.  Say  the 
whole  affair  was  a  mere  joke.  Monsieur  de  Malicorne  will 
have  no  occasion  to  get  out  of  temper;  Monsieur  de  St. 
Aignan  will  be  completely  put  out  of  countenance,  he  will 
be  laughed  at  instead  of  you;  and,  lastly,  the  king  will  be 
punished  for  a  curiosity  which  was  unworthy  of  his  rank. 

TEN   TEARS   LATER.  315 

Let  people  laugh  a  little  at  the  king  in  this  affair,  and  I  do 
not  think  he  will  complain  of  it." 

"Oh,  madame,  you  are  indeed  an  angel  of  goodness  and 

"It  is  to  my  own  advantage." 

"In  what  way?" 

"Do  you  ask  me  why  it  is  to  my  advantage  to  spare  my 
maids  of  honor  the  remarks,  annoyances,  and  perhaps  even 
calumnies,  which  might  follow?  Alas!  you  well  know  that 
the  court  has  no  indulgence  for  this  sort  of  i3ecadilloes. 
But  we  have  now  been  walking  for  some  time;  shall  we  be 
long  before  we  reach  it?" 

"About  fifty  or  sixty  paces  further;  turn  to  the  left, 
madame,  if  you  please." 

"And  so  you  are  sure  of  Montalais?"  said  madame. 

"Oh,  certainly." 

"Will  she  do  what  you  ask  her?" 

"Everything.     She  will  be  delighted." 

"As  for  La  Valliere — "  ventured  the  princess. 

"Ah,  there  will  be  some  difficulty  with  her,  madame;  she 
'would  scorn  to  tell  a  falsehood." 

"Yet,  when  it  is  her  interest  to  do  so " 

"I  am  afraid  that  that  would  not  make  the  slightest 
difference  in  her  ideas." 

"Yes,  yes,"  said  madame,  "I  have  been  already  told  that; 
she  is  one  of  those  overnice  and  affected,  particular  persons 
who  place  heaven  in  the  foreground  to  conceal  themselves 
behind  it.  But  if  she  refuse  to  tell  a  falsehood — as  she  will 
expose  herself  to  the  jestings  of  the  whole  court — as  she 
will  have  annoyed  the  king  by  a  confession  as  ridiculous  as 
it  was  immodest — Mademoiselle  de  la  Baume  le  Blanc  de  la 
Valliere  will  think  it  but  proper  that  I  should  send  her 
back  again  to  lier  pigeons  in  the  country,  in  order  that,  in 
Touriane  yonder,  or  in  Le  Blaisois — I  know  not  where  it 
may  be,  she  may  at  her  ease  study  sentiment  and  a  pastoral 
life  together."  These  words  were  uttered  with  a 
vehemence  and  harshness  which  terrified  Mile,  de  Tonnay- 
Charente;  and  the  consequence  was,  that,  as  far  as  she  was 
concerned,  she  promised  to  tell  as  many  falsehoods  as  might 
be  necessary.  It  was  in  this  amiable  frame  of  mind,  respec- 
tively, that  madame  and  her  companion  reached  the  pre- 
cincts of  the  royal  oak. 

"Here  we  are,"  said  Tonnay-Charente. 

"We  shall  soon  learn  if  one  can  overhear,"  replied 

316  TEK   TEARS    LATER. 

"Hush!"  said  the  young  girl,  holding  madame  back  with 
a  hurried  gesture,  entirely  forgetful  of  her  companion's 
rank.     Madame  stopped. 

"You  see  that  you  can  hear,"  said  Athenais. 



Madame  held  her  breath;  and,  in  fact,  the  following 
words,  pronounced  by  a  gentle  and  melancholy  voice,  floated 
toward  them: 

"I  tell  you,  vicomte,  I  tell  you  I  love  her  madly;  I  tell 
you  I  love  her  to  distraction." 

Madame  started  at  the  voice;  and,  beneath  her  hood,  a 
bright  joyous  smile  illumined  her  features.  It  was  she  who 
now  stayed  her  companion,  and  with  a  light  footstep  lead- 
ing her  some  twenty  paces  back,  that  is  to  say,  out  of  the 
reach  of  the  voice,  she  said,  "Eemain  there,  my  dear 
Athenais,  and  let  no  one  surprise  us.  I  think  it  may  be  you 
they  are  conversing  about." 

"Me,  madame?" 

"Yes,  you — or  rather,  your  adventure.  I  will  go  and 
listen;  if  we  were  both  there  we  should  be  discovered.  Gro 
and  fetch  Moutalais,  and  then  return  and  wait  for  me  with 
her  at  the  entrance  of  the  forest."  And  then,  as  Athenais 
hesitated,  she  again  said,  "GoJ"  in  a  voice  which  did  not 
admit  of  a  reply.  Athenais  thereupon  arranged  her  dress 
so  as  to  prevent  its  rustling  being  heard,  and  by  a  path 
which  crossed  the  group  of  trees,  she  regained  the  flower- 
garden.  As  for  madame,  she  concealed  herself  in  the 
thicket,  leaning  her  back  against  a  gigantic  chestnut-tree, 
one  of  the  branches  of  which  had  been  cut  iu  a  manner  to 
form  a  seat,  and  waited  there  full  of  anxiety  and  apprehen- 
sion. "Now,"  she  said,  "since  one  can  hear  from  this 
place,  let  us  listen  to  what  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne  and 
that  other  madly  in  love  fool,  the  Comte  de  Gruiche,  have  to 
say  about  me." 



There  was  a  moment's  silence,  as  if  all  the  mysterious 
sounds  of  night  were  hushed  to  listen,  at  the  same  time  as 
madame,  to  the  youthful  and  passionate  disclosures  of  De 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  317 

It  was  Raonl  who  was  about  to  speak.  He  loaned  in- 
dolently against  the  trunk  of  the  large  oak,  and  replied  in 
his  sweet  and  musical  voice,  ''Alas,  my  dear  De  Guiche,  it 
is  a  great  misfortune." 

"Yes,"  cried  the  latter,  ''great  indeed." 

"You  do  not  understand  me,  De  Guiche.  I  say  that  it 
is  a  great  misfortune  for  you,  not  that  of  loving,  but  that 
of  not  knowing  how  to  conceal  your  love." 

"What  do  you  mean?"  said  De  Guiche. 

"Yes,  you  do  not  perceive  one  thing,  namely,  that  it  is 
no  longer  to  the  only  friend  you  have — in  other  words,  to 
a  man  who  would  rather  die  than  betray  you — you  do  not 
perceive,  I  say,  that  it  is  no  longer  to  your  only  friend  that 
you  confide  your  passion,  but  to  the  first  one  who  approaches 

"Are  you  mad,  Bragelonne,"  exclaimed  De  Guiche,  "to 
say  such  a  thing  to  me?" 

"The  fact  is  so,  however." 

"Impossible!  How,  in  what  manner  could  I  have  become 
indiscreet  to  such  an  extent?" 

"I  mean,  that  your  eyes,  your  looks,  your  sighs,  speak, 
in  spite  of  yourself,  that  every  exaggerated  feeling  leads 
and  hurries  a  man  beyond  his  own  control.  In  such  a  case 
he  ceases  to  be  master  of  himself;  he  is  a  prey  to  a  mad 
passion,  which  makes  him  confide  his  grief  to  the  trees,  or 
to  the  air,  from  the  very  moment  he  has  no  longer  any  liv- 
ing being  within  reach  of  his  voice.  Besides,  remember 
this:  it  very  rarely  happens  that  there  is  not  always  some 
one  present  to  hear,  especially  those  very  things  which 
ought  not  to  be  heard."  De  Guiche  uttered  a  deep  sigh. 
"Nay,"  continued  Bragelonne,  "you  distress  me;  since  your 
return  here  you  have  a  thousand  times,  and  in  a  thousand 
different  ways,  confessed  your  love  for  her;  and  yet,  had 
you  not  said  anything,  your  return  would  alone  have  been 
a  terrible  indiscretion.  I  persist,  then,  in  drawing  this 
conclusion:  that  if  you  do  not  place  a  greater  watch  over 
yourself  than  you  have  hitherto  done,  one  day  or  another 
something  will  happen  which  will  cause  an  explosion. 
Who  will  save  you  then?  Answer  me.  Who  will  save  her? 
for,  innocent  as  she  will  be  of  your  affection,  your  affec- 
tion will  be  an  accusation  against  her  in  the  hands  of  her 

"Alas!"  murmured  De  Guiche;  and  a  deep  sigh  accom- 
panied the  exclamation. 

"That  is  not  answering  me,  De  Guiche." 

S18  TE]S^    YEARS    LATER. 

"Yes,  yes.'' 

*'Well,  what  reply  have  you  to  make?" 

"This,  that  when^the  day  arrives  I  shall  not  be  less  a 
living  being  than  I  feel  myself  to  be  now." 

"I  do  not  understand  you." 

"So  many  vicissitudes  have  worn  me  out.  At  present,  I 
am  no  more  a  thinking,  acting  being;  at  present,  the  most 
worthless  of  men  is  better  than  I  am;  therefore,  my  re- 
maining strength  is  now  exhausted,  my  latest-formed  resolu- 
tions have  vanished,  and  I  abandon  myself  to  my  fate.  "When 
a  man  is  out  campaigning,  as  we  have  been  together,  and  he 
sets  off  alone  and  unaccompanied  for  a  skirmish,  it  sometimes 
happens  that  he  may  meet  with  a  party  of  five  or  six  foragers, 
and  although  alone,  he  defends  himself;  afterward,  five  or 
six  others  arrive  unexpectedly,  his  anger  is  aroused,  and  he 
persists;  but  if  six,  eight,  or  ten  others  should  still  be  met 
with,  he  either  sets  spurs  to  his  horse,  if  he  should  still 
happen  to  retain  it,  or  lets  himself  be  slain,  to  save  an 
ignominious  flight.  Such,  indeed,  is  my  own  case.  First, 
I  had  to  struggle  against  myself;  afterward,  against  Buck- 
ingham; now,  since  the  king  is  in  the  field,  I  will  not  con- 
tend against  the  king,  nor  even,  I  wish  you  to  understand, 
will  the  king  retire;  nor  even  against  the  nature  of  that 
woman.  Still  I  do  not  deceive  myself;  having  devoted 
myself  to  the  service  of  that  affection,  I  will  lose  my  life 
in  it." 

"It  is  not  her  you  ought  to  reproach,"  replied  Eaoul;  "it 
is  yourself." 

"Why  so?" 

"You  know  the  princess'  character — somewhat  giddy, 
easily  captivated  by  novelty,  susceptible  to  flattery,  whether 
it  come  from  a  blind  person  or  a  child,  and  yet  you  allow 
your  passion  for  her  to  eat  your  very  life  away.  Look  at 
her — love  her,  if  you  will — for  no  one  whose  heart  is  not 
engaged  elsewhere  can  see  her  without  loving  her.  Yet, 
while  you  love  her,  respect,  in  the  first  place,  her  husband's 
rank,  then  himself,  and,  lastly,  your  own  safety." 

"Thanks,  Eaoul." 

"For  what?" 

"Because,  seeing  how  much  I  suffer  from  this  woman, 
you  endeavor  to  console  me,  because  you  tell  me  all  the 
good  of  her  you  think,  and  perhaps  even  that  which  you  do 
not  think." 

"Oh,"  said  Eaoul,  "there  you  are  wrong,  De  Guiche; 
what  I  think  I  do  not  always  say,  but  in  that  case  I  say 

TEN    YEAES   LATER.  319 

nothing;  but  when  I  speak  I  know  not  either  how  to  feign 
or  to  deceive,  and  whoever  listens  to  me  may  believe  me," 

During  this  conversation  madame,  her  head  stretched 
forward  with  eager  ear  and  dilated  glance,  endeavoring  to 
]3enetrate  the  obscurity,  thirstily  drank  in  the  faintest 
sound  of  their  voices. 

"Oh,  I  know  her  better  than  you  do,  then!"  exclaimed 
De  Guiche.  "She  is  not  giddy,  but  frivolous;  she  is  not 
attracted  by  novelty,  she  is  utterly  oblivious,  and  is  without 
faith;  she  is  not  simply  susceptible  to  flattery,  she  is  a 
practiced  and  cruel  coquette.  A  thorough  coquette!  yes, 
yes,  I  am  sure  of  it.  Believe  me,  Bragelonne,  I  am  suffer- 
ing all  the  torments  of  hell;  brave,  passionately  fond  of 
danger,  I  meet  a  danger  greater  than  my  strength  and  my 
courage.  But  believe  me,  Raoul,  I  reserve  for  myself  a 
victory  which  shall  cost  her  floods  of  tears." 

"A  victory,"  he  asked,  '"'of  what  kind?" 

"Of  what  kind,  you  ask?" 


"One  day  I  will  accost  her,  and  will  address  her  thus:  'I 
was  young — madly  in  love;  I  possessed,  however,  suflBicient 
respect  to  throw  myself  at  your  feet,  and  to  prostrate  my- 
self with  my  forehead  buried  in  the  dust,  if  your  looks  had 
not  raised  me  to  your  hand.  I  fancied  I  understood  your 
looks,  I  arose,  and  then,  without  having  done  anything 
toward  you  than  love  you  yet  more  devotedly,  if  that  were 
possible — you,  a  woman  without  heart,  faith,  or  love,  in 
very  wantonness  of  disposition,  dashed  me  down  again  from 
mere  caprice.  You  are  unworthy,  princess  of  the  royal 
blood  though  you  may  be,  of  the  love  of  a  man  of  honor;  I 
offer  my  life  as  a  sacrifice  for  having  loved  you  too  tenderly, 
and  I  die  hating  you.'  " 

"Oh!"  cried  Raoul,  terrified  at  the  accents  of  profound 
truth  which  De  Quiche's  words  betrayed,  "I  was  right  in 
saying  you  were  mad,  De  Guiche." 

"Yes,  yes!"  exclaimed  De  Guiche,  following  out  his  own 
idea;  "since  there  are  no  wars  here  now,  I  will  flee  yonder, 
to  the  north,  seek  service  in  the  empire,  where  some 
Hungarian,  or  Croat,  or  Turk  will  perhaps  kindly  put  me 
out  of  my  misery  at  once."  De  Guiche  did  not  finish,  or 
rather,  as  he  finished,  a  sound  made  him  start,  and  at  the 
same  moment  made  Raoul  leap  to  his  feet.  As  for  De 
Guiche,  buried  in  his  own  thoughts,  he  remained  seated, 
with  his  head  tightly  pressed  between  his  hands.  The 
branches  of  the  trees  were  pushed  aside,  and  a  woman,  pale 

320  TE2T   TEARS    LATER. 

and  much  agitated,  appeared  before  the  ayo  young  men. 
With  one  hand  she  held  back  the  branches,  -which  would 
have  struck  her  face,  and  with  the  other  she  raised  the 
hood  of  the  mantle  which  covered  her  shoulders.  By  her 
clear  and  lustrous  glance,  by  her  lofty  carriage,  by  her 
haughty  attitude,  and,  more  than  all,  by  the  throbbing  of 
his  own  heart,  De  Guiche  recognized  madame,  and,  utter- 
ing a  loud  cry,  he  removed  his  hands  from  his  temples,  and 
covered  his  eyes  with  them.  Eaoul,  trembling  and  out  of 
countenance,  merely  muttered  a  few  formal  words  of  respect. 

"Monsieur  de  Bragelonne,''  said  the  princess,  "have  the 
goadness,  I  beg,  to  see  if  my  attendants  are  not  somewhere 
yonder,  either  in  the  walks  or  in  the  groves;  and  you.  Mon- 
sieur de  Guiche,  remain  here;  I  am  tired,  and  you  will  per- 
haps give  me  your  arm." 

Had  a  thunderbolt  fallen  at  the  feet  of  the  unhappy 
young  man  he  would  have  been  less  terrified  than  by  her 
cold  and  severe  tone.  However,  as  he  himself  had  just  said, 
he  was  brave;  and  as  in  the  depths  of  his  own  heart  he  had 
Just  decisively  made  up  his  mind,  De  Guiche  arose,  and, 
observing  Bragelonne's  hesitation,  he  turned  toward  him  a 
glance  full  of  resignation  and  of  grateful  acknowledgment. 
Instead  of  immediately  answering  madame,  he  even  ad- 
vanced a  step  toward  the  vicomte,-  and  holding  out  toward 
him  the  hand  which  the  princess  had  just  desired  him  to 
give  her,  he  pressed  his  friend's  hand  in  his  own  with  a 
sigh,  in  which  he  seemed  to  give  to  friendship  all  life  that 
was  left  in  the  depths  of  his  heart.  Madame,  who  in  her 
pride  had  never  known  what  it  was  to  wait,  now  waited 
until  this  mute  colloquy  was  ended.  Her  royal  hand  re- 
mained suspended  in  the  air,  and  when  Eaoul  had  left,  it 
sank  without  anger,  but  not  without  emotion,  in  that  of 
De  Guiche.  They  were  alone  in  the  depths  of  the  dark 
and  silent  forest,  and  nothing  could  be  heard  but  Eaoul's 
hastily  retreating  footsteps  along  the  obscure  paths.  Over 
their  heads  was  extended  the  thick  and  fragrant  vault  of 
branches,  through  the  occasional  openings  of  which  the 
stars  could  be  seen  glittering  in  their  beauty.  Madame 
softly  drew  De  Guiche  about  a  hundred  paces  away  from 
that  indiscreet  tree  which  had  heard,  and  had  allowed  so 
many  things  to  be  heard,  during  that  evening,  and  leading 
him  to  a  neighboring  glade,  so  that  they  could  see  a  certain 
distance  around  them,  she  said  in  a  trembling  voice,  "I 
have  brought  you  here,  because  yonder  where  you  were 
everything  can  be  overheard." 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  321 

"Everything  can  be  overheard,  did  yoa  say,  madame?" 
replied  the  young  man  mechanically. 


"Which  means — "  murmured  De  Guiche. 

"Which  means  that  I  have  heard  every  syllable  you  have 

"Oh,  Heaven!  this  only  was  wanting  to  destroy  me," 
stammered  De  Guiche;  and  he  bent  down  his  head,  like  an 
exhausted  swimmer  beneath  the  wave  which  ingulfs  him. 

"And  so,"  she  said,  "you  judge  me  as  you  have  said." 

De  Guiche  grew  pale,  turned  his  head  aside,  and  was 
silent;  he  felt  almost  on  the  point  of  fainting. 

"I  do  not  complain,"  continued  the  princess,  in  a  tone 
of  voice  full  of  gentleness;  "I  prefer  a  frankness  which 
wounds  me  to  flattery  which  would  deceive  me.  And  so, 
according  to  your  opinion.  Monsieur  de  Guiche,  I  am  a 
coquette  and  a  worthless  creature." 

"Worthless!"  cried  the  young  man;  "you  worthless!  No, 
no;  most  certainly  I  did  not  say,  I  could  not  have  said, 
that  that  which  was  the  most  precious  object  in  life  for  me 
could  be  worthless.     No,  no;  I  did  not  say  that!" 

"A  woman  who  sees  a  man  perish,  consumed  by  the  lire 
she  has  kindled,  and  who  does  not  allay>that  fire  is,  in  my 
opinion,  a  worthless  woman." 

"What  can  it  matter  to  you  what  I  said?"  returned  the 
comte.  "What  am  I  compared  to  you,  and  why  should  you 
even  trouble  yourself  to  know  whether  I  exist  or  not?'" 

"Monsieur  de  Guiche,  both  you  and  I  are  human  beings, 
and,  knowing  you  as  I  do,  I  do  not  wish  you  to  risk  your 
life;  with  you  I  will  change  my  conduct  and  character.  I 
will  be,  not  frank,  for  I  am  always  so,  but  truthful.  I  im- 
plore you,  therefore,  to  love  me  no  more,  and  to  forget 
utterly  that  I  have  ever  addressed  a  word  or  a  glance 
toward  you." 

De  Guiche  turned  round,  bending  a  look  full  of  pas- 
sionate devotion  upon  her.  "You,"  he  said;  "you  excuse 
yourself;  you  implore  me!" 

"Certainly;  since  I  have  done  the  evil,  I  ought  to  repair 
the  evil  I  have  done.  And  so,  comte,  this  is  what  we  have 
agreed  to.  You  will  forgive  my  frivolity  and  my  coquetry. 
Nay,  do  not  interrupt  me.  I  will  forgive  you  for  having 
said  I  was  frivolous  and  a  coquette,  or  something  worse, 
perhaps;  and  you  will  renounce  your  idea  of  dying,  and 
will  preserve  for  your  family,  for  the  king,  and  for  our  sex, 
a  cavalier  whom  every  one  esteems,  and  whom  many  hold 

323  TEN"   YEARS   LATER. 

Madame  prononnced  these  last  words  in  such  an  accent 
of  frankness,  and  even  of  tenderness,  that  poor  De  Guiche's 
heart  felt  almost  bursting. 

"Oh!  madame,  madame!"  he  stammered  out. 

"Nay,  listen  further,"  she  continued.  "When  you  shall 
have  renounced  all  thought  of  me  forever,  from  necessity 
in  the  first  place,  and,  afterward,  because  you  will  yield  to 
my  entreaty,  then  you  will  judge  me  more  favorably,  and  I 
am  convinced  you  will  replace  this  love — forgive  the  folly 
of  the  expression — by  a  sincere  friendship,  which  you  will 
be  ready  to  offer  me,  and  which,  I  promise  you,  shall  be 
cordially  accepted." 

De  Guiche,  his  forehead  bedewed  with  perspiration,  a  feel- 
ing of  death  in  his  heart,  and  a  trembling  agitation  through 
his  whole  frame,  bit  his  lip,  stamped  his  foot  on  the  ground, 
and,  in  a  word,  devoured  the  bitterness  of  his  grief.  "Ma- 
dame," he  said,  "what  you  offer  is  impossible,  and  I  can- 
not accept  such  coBditions." 

"What!"  said  madame,  "do  you  refuse  my  friendship?" 

"No,  no!  I  need  not  your  friendship,  madame;  I  prefer 
to  die  from  love  than  to  live  for  friendship." 


"Oh!  madame,"  cried  De  Guiche,"the  present  is  a  mo- 
ment for  me,  in  which  no  other  consideration  and  no  other 
respect  exists,  than  the  respect  of  a  man  of  honor  toward 
the  woman  he  worships.  Drive  me  away,  curse  me,  de- 
nounce me,  you  will  be  perfectly  right;  I  have  uttered  com- 
plaints against  you,  but  their  bitterness  has  been  owing  to 
my  passion  for  you;  I  have  said  that  I  would  die,  and  die  I 
shall.  If  I  lived,  you  would  forget  me;  but  dead,  you  would 
never  forget  me,  I  am  sure." 

And  yet  she,  who  was  standing  buried  in  thought,  and  as 
agitated  as  De  Guiche  himself,  turned  aside  her  head  as  he 
but  a  minute  before  had  turned  aside  his.  Then,  after  a 
moment's  pause,  she  said,  "And  you  love  me,  then,  very 

"Madly;  madly  enough  to  die  from  it,  whether  you  drive 
me  from  you   or  whether  you  listen  to  me  still." 

"It  is,  therefore,  a  hopeless  case,"  she  said,  in  a  playful 
manner;  "a  case  which  must  be  treated  with  soothing  ap- 
plications.    Give  me  your  hand.     It  is  as  cold  as  ice." 

De  Guiche  knelt  down,  and  pressed  to  his  lips,  not  one, 
but  both  of  madame^s  hands. 

"Love  me  then,*'  said  the  princess,  "since  it  cannot  be 
otherwise.'^    And    almost    imperceptibly  she    pressed   his 

TEN   YEAES   LATER.  323 

fingers,  raising  him  thus,  partly  in  the  manner  of  a  queen, 
and  partly  as  a  fond  and  affectionate  woman  would  have 
done.  De  Guiche  trembled  throughout,  from  head  to  foot, 
and  madame,  who  felt  how  passion  coursed  through  every 
fiber  of  his  being,  knew  that  he  indeed  loved  truly.  "Give 
me  your  arm,  comte,'^  she  said,  "and  let  us  return." 

"Ah!  madame,"  said  the  comte,  trembling  and  be- 
wildered; "youhave  discovered  a  third  way  of  killing  me." 

"But,  happily,  it  is  the  longest,  is  it  not?"  she  replied, 
as  she  led  him  toward  the  grove  of  trees  she  had  left. 



"While  De  Guiche's  affairs,  which  had  been  suddenly  set 
to  rights  without  his  having  been  able  to  guess  the  cause  of 
their  iniisrovement,  assumed  that  unexpected  change  which 
we  have  seen,  Eaoul,  in  obedience  to  the  request  of  H.  R. 
H.,  had  withdrawn  in  order  not  to  interrupt  an  explana- 
tion, the  results  of  which  he  was  far  from  guessing,  and  he 
had  joined  the  ladies  of  honor  who  were  walking  about  in 
the  flower-gardens.  During  this  time  the  Chevalier  de 
Lorraine,  who  had  returned  to  his  own  room,  read  De 
Wardes'  letter  with  surprise,  for  it  informed  him,  by  the 
hand  of  his  valet,  of  the  sword-thrust  received  at  Calais, 
and  of  all  the  details  of  the  adventure,  and  invited  him  to 
communicate  to  De  Guiche  and  to  Monsieur,  whatever  there 
might  be  in  the  affair  likely  to  be  most  disagreeable  to  both 
of  them.  De  Wardes  particularly  endeavored  to  prove  to 
the  chevalier  the  violence  of  madame's  affection  for  Buck- 
ingham, and  he  finished  his  letter  by  declaring  that  he 
thought  this  feeling  was  returned.  The  chevalier  shrugged 
his  shoulders  at  the  latter  paragraph,  and,  in  fact,  De 
Wardes  was  very  much  behindhand,  as  may  have  been  seen. 
De  Wardes  was  still  only  at  Buckingham's  affair.  The 
chevalier  threw  the  letter  over  his  shoulder  upon  an  adjoin- 
ing table,  and  said  in  a  disdainful  tone:  "It  is  really  in- 
credible; and  yet  poor  De  Wardes  is  not  deficient  in  ability; 
but  the  truth  is,  it  is  not  very  apparent,  so  easy  is  it  to  grow 
rusty  in  the  country.  The  deuce  take  the  simpleton,  who 
ought  to  have  written  to  me  about  matters  of  importance, 
and  who  writes  such  silly  stuff  as  that.  If  it  had  not  been 
for  that  miserable  letter,  which  has  no  meaning  at  all  in  it. 

324  TEN"   YEARS   LATER. 

I  should  have  detected  in  the  grove  yonder  a  charming 
little  intrigue,  which  would  have  compromised  a  woman, 
would  have  perhaps  been  as  good  as  a  svvord-thrust  ix>T  a 
man,  and  have  diverted  Monsieur  for  some  days  to  come." 

He  looked  at  his  watch.  "It  is  now  too  late,"  he  said. 
"One  o'clock  in  the  morning;  everyone  must  have  returned 
to  the  king's  apartments,  where  the  night  is  to  be  finished; 
well,  the  scene  is  lost,  and  unless  some  extraordinary 
chance — "  And  thus  saying,  as  if  to  appeal  to  his  good 
star,  the  chevalier,  much  out  of  temper,  approached  the 
window,  which  looked  out  upon  a  somewhat  solitary  part 
of  the  garden.  Immediately,  and  as  if  some  evil  genius  had 
been  at  his  orders,  he  perceived  returning  toward  the 
chateau,  accompanied  by  a  man,  a  silk  mantle  of  a  dark 
color,  and  recognized  the  figure  which  had  struck  his  atten- 
tion half  an  hour  previously. 

"Admirable!"  he  thought,  striking  his  hands  together, 
"this  is  my  mysterious  affair."  And  he  started  out  precipi- 
tately along  the  staircase,  hoping  to  reach  the  courtyard  in 
time  to  recognize  the  woman  in  the  mantle,  and  her  com- 
panion. But  as  he  arrived  at  the  door  in  the  little  court, 
he  nearly  knocked  against  madame,  whose  radiant  face 
seemed  full  of  charming  revelations  beneath  the  mantle 
which  protected  without  concealing  her.  Unfortunately, 
madame  was  alone.  The  chevalier  knew  that  since  he  had 
seen  her,  not  five  minutes  before,  with  a  gentleman,  the 
gentleman  in  question  could  not  be  far  off.  Consequently, 
he  hardly  took  time  to  salute  the  princess  as  he  drew  up,  to 
allow  her  to  pass;  then  when  she  had  advanced  a  few  steps, 
with  the  rapidity  of  a  woman  who  fears  recognition;  and 
when  the  chevalier  perceived  that  she  was  too  much  occu- 
pied with  her  own  thoughts  to  trouble  herself  about  him, 
he  darted  into  the  garden,  looked  hastily  round  on  every 
side,  and  embraced  within  his  glance  as  much  of  the  hori- 
zon as  he  possibly  could.  He  was  just  in  time:  the  gentle- 
man who  had  accompanied  madame  was  still  in  sight;  only 
he  was  rapidly  hurrying  toward  one  of  the  wings  of  the 
chateau,  behind  which  he  was  just  on  the  point  of  disap- 
pearing. There  was  not  a  minute  to  lose;  the  chevalier 
darted  in  pursuit  of  him,  prepared  to  slacken  his  pace  as  he 
approached  the  unknown;  but  in  spite  of  the  diligence  he 
used,  the  unknown  had  disappeared  behind  the  flight  of 
steps  before  he  approached. 

It  was  evident,  however,  that  as  he  whom  the  chevalier 
pursued  was  walking  quietly,  in  a  very  pensive   manner. 


TEN   YEARS   LATER.  325 

with  his  head  bent  down,  either  beneath  the  weight  of  grief 
or  of  happiness,  when  once  the  angle  was  passed,  unless, 
indeed,  he  were  to  enter  by  some  door  or  another,  the 
chevalier  could  not  fail  to  overtake  him.  And  this  cer- 
tainly would  have  happened,  if,  at  the  very  moment  he 
turned  the  angle,  the  chevalier  had  not  run  against  two 
persons,  who  were  themselves  turning  it  in  the  opposite  direc- 
tion. The  chevalier  was  quite  ready  to  seek  a  quarrel  with 
these  two  troublesome  intruders,  when  looking  up  he  recog- 
nized the  surintendant.  Fouquet  was  accompanied  by  a 
person  whom  the  chevalier  now  saw  for  the  first  time.  The 
stranger  was  His  Grace  the  Bishop  of  Vannes.  Checked  by 
the  important  character  of  the  individual,  and  obliged  from 
politeness  to  make  his  own  excuses  when  he  expected  to 
receive  them,  the  chevalier  stej)ped  back  a  few  paces;  and 
as  M.  Fouquet  possessed,  if  not  the  frieudship,  at  least  the 
respect  of  every  one;  as  the  king  himself,  although  he  was 
rather  his  enemy  than  his  friend,  treated  M.  Fouquet  as  a 
man  of  great  distinction,  the  chevalier  did  what  the  king 
would  have  done,  namely,  he  bowed  to  M.  Fouquet,  who 
returned  his  salutation  with  kindly  politeness,  perceiving 
that  the  gentleman  had  run  against  him  by  mistake,  and 
without  any  intention  of  being  rude.  Then,  almost  imme- 
diately afterward,  having  recognized  the  Chevalier  de  Lor- 
raine, he  made  a  few  civil  remarks,  to  which  the  chevalier 
was  obliged  to  reply.  Brief  as  the  conversation  was,  the 
Chevalier  de  Lorraine  saw,  with  the  most  unfeigned  dis- 
pleasure, the  figure  of  his  unknown  becoming  less  and  less 
in  the  distance,  and  fast  disappearing  in  the  darkness.  The 
chevalier  resigned  himself,  and,  once  resigned,  gave  his 
entire  attention  to  Fouquet:  "You  arrive  late,  monsieur,'' 
he  said.  "Your  absence  has  occasioned  great  surprise,  and 
I  heard  Monsieur  express  himself  as  much  astonished  that, 
having  been  invited  tjy  the  king,  you  had  not  come." 

"It  was  impossible  for  me  to  do  so;  but  I  came  as  soon  as 
I  was  free." 

"Is  Paris  quiet?" 

"Perfectly  so.     Paris  has  received  the  last  tax  very  well." 

"Ah!  I  understand,  you  wished  to  assure  yourself  of  this 
good  feeling  before  you  came  to  participate  in  our  fetes." 

"I  have  arrived,  however,  somewhat  late  to  enjoy  them. 
I  will  ask  you,  therefore,  to  inform  me  if  the  king  is  within 
the  chateau  or  not,  if  I  shall  be  able  to  see  him  this  even- 
ing, or  if  I  am  to  wait  until  to-morrow." 

"We  have  lost  sight  of  his  majesty  during  the  last  half 
hour  nearly,"  said  the  chevalier. 

326  TEN   TEAKS    LATER. 

''Perhaps  he  is  iu  madame's  apartments/'  inquired 

"Not  in  madame's  apartments,  I  should  think,  for  I  have 
just  met  madame  as  she  was  entering  by  the  small  staircase; 
and  unless  the  gentleman  whom  you  just  now  passed  was 
the  king  himself — "  and  the  chevalier  paused,  hoping  that, 
in  this  manner,  he  might  learn  who  it  was  he  had  been 
hurrying  after.  But  Fouquet,  whether  he  had  or  not 
recognized  De  Guiche,  simply  replied: 

"No,  monsieur,  it  was  not  he." 

The  chevalier,  disappointed  in  his  expectation,  saluted 
them;  but  as  he  did  so,  casting  a  parting  glance  around 
him,  and  perceiving  M.  Colbert  in  the  center  of  a  group, 
he  said  to  thesurintendant:  "Stay,  monsieur;  there  is  some 
one  under  the  trees  yonder  who  will  be  able  to  inform  you 
better  than  myself." 

"Who?"  asked  Fouquet,  whose  near-sightedness  pre- 
vented his  seeing  through  the  darkness. 

"Monsieur  Colbert,"  returned  the  chevalier. 

"Indeed!  That  person,  then,  who  is  speaking  yonder  to 
those  men  with  torches  in  their  hands,  is  Monsieur  Colbert?" 

"Monsieur  Colbert  himself.  He  is  giving  his  orders  per- 
sonally to  the  workmen  who  are  arranging  the  lamps  for 
the  illuminations." 

"Thank  you,"  said  Fouquet,  with  an  inclination  of  the 
head  which  indicated  that  he  had  obtained  all  the  informa- 
tion he  wished.  The  chevalier,  on  his  side,  having,  on  the 
contrary,  learned  nothing  at  all,  withdrew  with  a  profound 

He  had  scarcely  left  when  Fouquet,  knitting  his  brows,  fell 
in  a  deep  reverie.  Aramis  looked  at  him  for  a  moment  with 
a  mingled  feeling  of  compassion  and  sadness.  "What!"  he 
said  to  him,  "that  man's  name  alone  seemed  to  affect  you. 
Is  it  possible  that,  full  of  triumph  and  delight  as  you  were 
just  now,  the  sight  merely  of  that  man  is  capable  of  dis- 
piriting you?     Tell  me,  have  you  faith  in  your  good  star?" 

"No,"  replied  Fouquet  dejectedly. 

"Why  not?" 

"Because  I  am  too  full  of  happiness  at  this  present 
moment,"  he  replied  in  a  trembling  voice.  "You,  my 
dear  D'Herblay,  who  are  so  learned,  will  remember  the  his- 
tory of  a  certain  tyrant  of  Samos.  What  can  I  throw  into 
the  sea  to  avert  approaching  evil?  Yes;  I  repeat  it  once 
more,  I  arn  too  full  of  happiness!  so  happy  that  I  wish  for 
nothing  beyond  what  I  have.     .     .     ■,     I  have  risen  so  high. 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  '627 

.  .  .  You  know  my  motto:  'Q71.0  non  ascendarnV  I 
have  risen  so  high  that  nothing  is  left  me  but  to  descend 
from  my  elevation.  I  cannot  believe  in  the  progress  of  a 
success  which  is  already  more  than  human." 

Aramis  smiled  as  he  fixed  his  kind  and  penetrating  glance 
upon  him.  "If  I  were  aware  of  the  cause  of  your  happi- 
ness," he  said,  "I  should  probably  fear  for  your  disgrace; 
but  you  regard  me  in  the  light  of  a  true  friend;  I  mean, 
you  turn  to  me  in  misfortune,  nothing  more.  Even  that  is 
an  immense  and  precious  boon,  I  know;  but  the  truth  is,  I 
have  a  just  right  to  beg  you  to  confide  in  me,  from  time  to 
time,  any  fortunate  circumstances  which  may  befall  you, 
and  in  which  I  should  rejoice,  you  know,  more  than  if  they 
had  befallen  myself." 

"My  dear  prelate,"  said  Fouquet,  laughing,  "my  secrets 
are  of  too  jDrofane  a  character  to  confide  them  to  a  bishop, 
however  great  a  worldling  he  may  be." 

"Bah!  in  confession." 

"Or  I  should  blush  too  much  if  you  were  my  confessor," 
And  Fouquet  began  to  sigh.  Aramis  again  looked  at  him 
without  any  other  betrayal  of  his  thoughts  than  a  quiet 

"Well,"  he  said,  "discretion  is  a  great  virtue." 

"Silence,"  said  Fouquet;  "that  venomous  beast  has 
recognized  us,  and  is  coming  this  way." 


"Yes;  leave  me,  D'Herblay;  1  do  not  wish  that  fellow  to 
see  you  with  me,  or  he  will  take  an  aversion  to  you." 

Aramis  pressed  his  hand,  saying,  "What  need  have  I  of 
his  friendship,  while  you  are  here?" 

"Yes,  but  I  may  not  be  always  here,"  replied  Fouquet 

"On  that  day,  then,  if  that  day  should  ever  come,"  said 
Aramis  tranquilly,  "we  will  think  over  a  means  of  dispens- 
ing with  the  friendship,  or  of  braving  the  dislike  of  Mon- 
sieur Colbert.  But  tell  me,  my  dear  Fouquet,  instead  of 
conversing  with  this  fellow,  as  you  did  him  the  honor  to 
style  him,  a  conversation  the  utility  of  which  I  do  not  per- 
ceive, why  do  you  not  pay  a  visit,  if  not  to  the  king,  at 
least  to  madame?" 

"To  madame?"  said  the  surintendant,  his  mind  occupied 
by  his  souvenirs. 

"Yes,  certainly,  to  madame." 

"You  remember,"  continued  Aramis,  "that  we  have  been 
told  that  madame  stands  high  in  favor  during  the  last  two 

338  TEN"    YEARS   LATER, 

or  three  days.  It  enters  into  your  policy,  and  forms  part 
of  our  plans,  that  you  should  assiduously  devote  yourself  to 
his  majesty's  friends.  It  is  a  means  of  counteracting' the 
growing  influence  of  Monsieur  Colbert.  Present  yourself, 
therefore,  as  soon  as  possible  to  madame,  and,  for  our  sakes, 
treat  this  ally  with  consideration." 

"But,"  said  Fouquet,  "are  you  quite  sure  that  it  is  upon 
her  the  king  has  his  eyes  fixed  at  the  present  moment?" 

"If  the  needle  has  turned,  it  must  be  since  the  morning. 
You  know  I  have  my  police." 

"Very  well.  I  go  there  at  once,  and,  at  all  events,  I 
shall  have  a  means  of  introduction  in  the  shape  of  a  mag- 
nificent pair  of  antique  cameos  set  round  with  diamonds." 

"I  have  seen  them,  and  nothing  could  be  more  costly  and 

At  this  moment  they  were  interrupted  by  a  servant  fol- 
lowed by  a  courier. 

"For  you,  monseigneur,"  said  the  courier,  aloud,  pre- 
senting a  letter  to  Fouquet. 

"For  your  grace,"  said  the  lackey,  iu  a  low  tone,  hand- 
ing Aramis  a  letter. 

And  as  the  lackey  carried  a  torch  in  his  hand,  he  placed 
himself  between  the  surintendant  and  the  Bishop  of  Yannes, 
so  that  both  of  them  could  read  at  the  same  time.  As  Fou- 
quet looked  at  the  fine  and  delicate  writing  on  the  envelope, 
he  started  with  delight;  they  who  love,  or  who  are  beloved, 
will  understand  his  anxiety  in  the  first  place,  and  his  hap- 
piness in  the  next.  He  hastily  tore  open  the  letter,  which, 
however,  contained  only  these  words: 

"It  is  but  an  hour  since  I  quitted  you,  it  is  an  age  since  I 
told  you  that  I  love  you." 

And  that  was  all.  Mme.  de  Belliere  had,  in  fact,  left 
Fouquet  about  an  hour  previously,  after  having  jDassed  two 
days  with  him;  and,  apprehensive  lest  his  remembrance  of 
her  might  not  be  effaced  for  too  long  a  period  from  the 
heart  she  regretted,  she  dispatched  a  courier  to  him  as  the 
bearer  of  this  important  communication.  Fouquet  kissed 
the  letter,  and  rewarded  the  bearer  with  a  handful  of  gold. 
As  for  Aramis,  he,  on  his  side,  was  engaged  in  reading,  but 
with  more  coolness  and  reflection,  the  following  letter: 

"The  king  has  this  evening  been  struck  with  a  strange 
fancy;  a  woman  loves  him.  He  learned  it  accidentally,  as  he 
was  listening  to  the  conversation  of  this  young  girl  with 

TEli    YEARS    LATER.  339 

her  companions;  and  his  majesty  has  entirely  abandoned 
himself  to  this  new  caprice.  The  girl's  name  is  Made- 
moiselle de  la  Valliere,  and  she  is  sufficiently  pretty  to 
warrant  this  caprice  becoming  a  strong  attachment.  Be- 
ware of  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere." 

There  was  not  a  word  about  madame.  Aramis  slowly 
folded  the  letter  and  put  it  in  his  pocket.  Fouquet  was 
still  engaged  in  inhaling  the  perfume  of  his  epistle. 

"Monseignenr,"  said  Aramis,  touching  Fouquet's  arm. 

"Yes,  what  is  it?"  he  asked. 

"An  idea  has  just  occurred  to  me.  Are  you  acquainted 
with  a  young  girl  of  the  name  of  La  Valliere?" 

"Not  at  all." 

"Reflect  a  little." 

"Ah,  yes,  I  believe  so;  one  of  madame's maids  of  honor." 

"That  must  be  the  one." 

"Well,  what  then?" 

"Well,  monseigneur,  it  is  to  that  young  girl  that  you 
must  pay  your  visit  this  evening." 

"Bah!  why  so?" 

"Nay,  more  than  that,  it  is  to  her  you  must  present  your 


"You  know,  monseigneur,  that  my  advice  is  not  to  be 
regarded  lightly." 

"Yet  this  was  unforeseen " 

"That  is  my  affair.  Pay  your  court  in  due  form,  and 
without  loss  of  time,  to  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere.  I 
will  be  your  guarantee  with  Mme.  de  Belliere  that  your 
devotion  is  altogether  politic." 

"What  do  you  mean,  my  dear  D'Herblay,  and  whose 
name  have  you  Just  pronounced?" 

"A  name  which  ought  to  convince  you  that,  as  I  am  so 
well  informed  about  yourself,  I  may  possibly  be  as  well  in- 
formed about  others.  Pay  your  court,  therefore,  to  La 

"I  will  pay  my  court  to  whomsoever  you  like,"  replied 
Fouquet,  his  heart  filled  with  happiness. 

"Come,  come;  descend  again  to  the  earth,  traveler  of  the 
seventh  heaven,"  said  Aramis.  "Monsieur  de  Colbert  is 
approaching.  He  has  been  recruiting  while  we  were  read- 
ing; see  how  he  is  surrounded,  praised,  congratulated;  he  is 
decidedly  becoming  powerful." 

In  fact,  Colbert  was  advancing,  escorted  by  all  the  cour- 

330  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

tiers  who  remained  in  the  gardens,  every  one  of  whom  com- 
plimented him  upon  the  arrangements  of  the  fete,  and 
which  so  puffed  him  up  that  he  could  hardly  contain  him- 

''If  La  Fontaine  were  here,"  said  Fouquet,  smiling, 
"what  an  admirable  opportunity  for  him  to  recite  his  fable 
of  'The  Frog  that  wished  to  make  itself  as  big  as  the  Ox!'  " 

Colbert  arrived  in  the  center  of  the  circle  blazing  with 
light,  Fouquet  awaited  his  approach,  unmoved,  and  with  a 
slightly  mocking  smile.  Colbert  smiled,  too;  he  had  been 
observing  his  enemy  during  the  last  quarter  of  an  hour,  and 
had  been  approaching  him  gradually.  Colbert's  smile  was 
a  presage  of  hostility. 

"Oh,  oh!"  said  Aramis,  in  a  low  tone,  to  the  surin- 
tendant;  "the  scoundrel  is  going  to  ask  you  again  for  a  few 
more  millions  to  pay  for  his  fireworks  and  his  colored 

Colbert  was  the  first  to  salute  them,  and  with  an  air 
which  he  endeavored  to  render  respectful.  Fouquet  hardly 
moved  his  head. 

"Well,  monseigneur,  what  do  your  eyes  say?  Have  we 
shown  our  good  taste?" 

"Perfect  taste,"  replied  Fouquet,  without  permitting 
the  slightest  tone  of  raillery  to  be  remarked  in  his  words. 

"Oh!"  said  Colbert  maliciously,  "you  are  treating  us 
with  indulgence.  We  are  poor,  w^e  other  servants  of  the 
king,  and  Fontainebleau  is  in  no  way  to  be  compared  as  a 
residence  with  Vaux." 

"Quite  true,"  replied  Fouquet  coolly. 

"But  what  can  we  do,  monseigneur?"  continued  Colbert; 
"we  have  done  our  best  with  our  slender  resources." 

Fouquet  made  a  gesture  of  assent. 

"But,"  pursued  Colbert,  "it  would  be  only  a  proper  dis- 
play of  your  magnificence,  monseigneur,  if  you  were  to 
offer  to  his  majesty  a/e^e  in  your  wonderful  gardens — in 
those  gardens  which  have  cost  you  sixty  millions  of  francs." 

"Seventy-two,"  said  Fouquet. 

"An  additional  reason,"  returned  Colbert;  "it  would, 
indeed,  be  truly  magnificent." 

"But  do  you  suppose,  monsieur,  that  his  majesty  would 
deign  to  accejDt  my  invitation?" 

"I  have  no  doubt  Avhatever  of  it!"  cried  Colbert  hastily; 
"I  will  guarantee  that  he  does." 

"You  are  exceedingly  kind,"  said  Fouquet.  "I  may 
depend  on  it,  then?" 

TEN    YEAKS    LATER.  331 

"Yes,  monseigneur;  yes,  certainly." 

"Then  I  will  consider  it,"  said  Fouquet. 

"x\ccept,  accept,"  whispered  Ararais  eagerly. 

"You  will  consider  it?"  repeated  Colbert. 

"Yes,"  replied  Fouquet;  "in  order  to  know  what  day  I 
shall  submit  my  invitation  to  the  king." 

"This  very  evening,  monsieur,  this  very  evening." 

"Agreed,"  said  t^^e  surintendant.  "Gentlemen,  I  should 
wish  to  issue  my  invitations;  but  you  know  that  wherever 
the  king  goes,  the  king  is  in  his  own  palace;  it  is  by  his 
majesty  therefore,  that  you  must  be  invited." 

A  murmur  of  delight  immediately  arose.  Fouquet  bowed 
and  left. 

"Proud  and  haughty  man,"  said  Colbert,  "you  accept, 
and  you  know  it  will  cost  you  ten  millions." 

"You  have  ruined  me,"  said  Fouquet,  in  a  low  tone,  to 

"I  have  saved  you,"  replied  the  latter,  while  Fouquet 
ascended  the  flight  of  steps  and  inquired  whether  the  king 
was  still  visible. 



The  king,  anxious  to  be  again  quite  alone,  in  order  to 
reflect  well  upon  what  was  passing  in  his  heart,  had  with- 
drawn to  his  own  aj)artments,  where  M.  de  St.  Aignan  had, 
after  his  conversation  with  madame,  gone  to  meet  him. 
This  conversation  has  already  been  related.  The  favorite, 
vain  of  his  twofold  importance,  and  feeling  that  he  had 
become,  during  the  last  two  hours,  the  confidant  of  the 
king,  began  to  treat  the  affairs  of  the  court  in  a  somewhat 
indifferent  manner;  and  from  the  j)osition  in  which  he  had 
placed  himself,  or  rather,  where  chance  had  placed  him, 
he  saw  nothing  but  love  and  garlands  of  flowers  around 
him.  The  king's  love  for  madame,  that  of  madame  for  the 
king,  that  of  De  Guiche  for  madame,  that  of  La  Valliere 
for  the  king,  that  of  Malicorne  for  Montalais,  that  of  Mile, 
de  Tonnay-Charente  for  himself,  was  not  all  this,  truly, 
more  than  enough  to  turn  the  head  of  any  courtier?  Be- 
sides, St.  Aignan  was  the  model  of  all  courtiers,  past, 
present,  and  future;  and,  moreover,  St.  Aignan  showed 
himself  such  an  excellent  narrator  and  so  discerningly  ap- 

83:^  TEN   TEARS   LATER. 

preciative  that  the  king  listened  to  him  with  an  appearance 
of  great  interest,  particularly  when  he  described  the  excited 
manner  with  which  madame  had  sought  for  him  to  converse 
about  the  aiiair  of  Mile,  de  la  Valliere,  When  the  king  no 
longer  experienced  for  madame  any  remains  of  the  passion 
he  had  once  felt  for  her,  there  was,  in  this  same  eagerness 
of  madame  to  procure  information  about  him,  such  a  grati- 
fication for  his  vanity,  from  which  he  could  not  free  him- 
self. He  experienced  this  gratification,  then,  but  nothing 
more;  and  his  heart  was  not,  for  a  single  moment,  alarmed 
at  what  madame  might,  or  might  not,  think  of  this  adven- 
ture. When,  however,  St.  Aignan  had  finished,  the  king, 
while  preparing  to  retire  to  rest,  asked: 

"Now,  St.  Aignan,  you  know  what  Mademoiselle  de  la 
Valliere  is,  do  you  not?" 

"ISTot  only  what  she  is,  but  what  she  will  be." 

"What  do  you  mean?" 

"I  mean  that  she  is  everything  that  a  woman  can  wish  to 
be;  that  is  to  say,  beloved  by  your  majesty;  I  mean,  that 
she  will  be  everything  your  majesty  may  wish  her  to  be." 

"That  is  not  what  I  am  asking.  I  do  not  wish  to  know 
what  she  is  to-day,  or  what  she  will  be  to-morrow;  as  you 
have  remarked,  that  is  my  aifair.  But  tell  me  what  others 
say  of  her." 

"They  say  she  is  well-conducted." 

"Oh!"  said  the  king,  smiling,  "that  is  but  report." 

"But  rare  enough,  at  court,  sire,  to  believe  it  when  it  is 

"Perhaps  you  are  right.     Is  she  well-born?" 

"Excellently  so;  the  daughter  of  the  Marquis  de  la  Val- 
liere, and  stepdaughter  of  that  good  Monsieur  de  St. 

"Ah,  yes,  my  aunt's  major-domo;  I  remember  it;  and  I 
remember  now  that  I  saw  her  as  I  passed  through  Blois. 
She  was  presented  to  the  queens.  I  have  even  to  reproach 
myself  that  I  did  not,  on  that  occasion,  pay  her  all  the 
attention  she  deserved." 

"Oh,  sire,  I  trust  that  your  majesty  will  repair  the  time 
you  have  lost." 

"And  the  report,  you  tell  me,  is  that  Mademoiselle  de  la 
Valliere  never  had  a  lover?" 

"In  any  case,  I  do  not  think  your  majesty  would  be 
much  alarmed  at  the  rivalry." 

"Yet,  stay,"  said  the  king,  in  a  very  serious  tone  of  voice. 

"Your  majesty?" 

TEN   TEAES   LATER.  333 

"I  remember." 


"If  she  has  no  lover,  she  has,  at  least,  a  betrothed." 

"A  betrothed!" 

"What,  count,  do  not  you  know  that?" 


"You,  the  man  who  knows  all  the  news?" 

"Your  majesty  will  excuse  me.  Your  majesty  knows 
this  betrothed,  then?" 

"Assuredly;  his  father  came  to  ask  me  to  sign  the  mar- 
riage contract;  it  is " 

The  king  was  about  to  pronounce  the  Vicomte  de  Brage- 
lonne's  name,  when  he  stopped,  and  knitted  his  brows. 

"It  is?"  repeated  St.  Aignan  inquiringly. 

"I  don't  remember  now,"  replied  Louis  XIV.,  endeavor- 
ing to  conceal  an  annoyance  which  he  had  some  trouble  to 

"Can  I  put  your  majesty  in  the  way?"  inquired  the 
Comte  de  St.  Aignan. 

"No;  for  I  no  longer  remember  to  whom  I  intended  to 
refer;  indeed,  I  only  remember  very  indistinctly  that  one 
of  the  maids  of  honor  was  to  marry.  The  name,  however, 
has  escaped  me." 

"Was  it  Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Charente  he  was  going 
to  marry?"  inquired  St.  Aignan. 

"Very  likely,"  said  the  king. 

"In  that  c-ase,  the  intended  was  Monsieur  de  Montespan; 
but  Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Charente  did  not  speak  of  it, 
it  seemed  to  me,  in  such  a  manner  as  would  frighten  suitors 

"At  all  events,"  said  the  king,  "I  know  nothing,  or 
almost  nothing,  about  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere.  St. 
Aignan,  I  rely  upon  you  to  procure  me  some  information 
about  her." 

"Yes,  sire;  and  when  shall  I  have  the  honor  of  seeing 
your  majesty  again,  to  give  you  the  information?" 

"Whenever  you  shall  have  procured  it." 

"I  shall  obtain  it  speedily,  then,  if  the  information  can 
be  as  quickly  obtained  as  my  wish  to  see  your  majesty 

"Well  said,  count.  By  the  bye,  has  madame  displayed 
any  ill-feeling  against  this  poor  girl?" 

"None,  sire." 

"Madame  did  not  get  angry,  then?" 

"I  do  not  know;  I  only  know  that  she  laughed  con- 

334  TEN   YEARS    LATER. 

''That's  well;  but  I  think  I  hear  voices  in  the  anterooms; 
no  doubt  a  courier  has  just  arrived.     Inquire.  St.  Aisrnan." 

The  count  ran  to  the  door  and  exchanged  a  few  words 
with  the  usher;  he  returned  to  the  king,  saying: 

"Sire,  it  is  Monsieur  Fouquet,  who  has  this  moment 
arrived,  by  your  majesty's  orders,  he  says.  He  presented 
himself,  but,  because  of  the  advanced  hour,  he  does  not 
press  for  an  audience  this  evening,  and  is  satisfied  to  have 
his  presence  here  formally  announced." 

''Monsieur  Fouquet!  I  wrote  to  him  at  three  o'clock, 
inviting  him  to  be  at  Fontainebleau  the  following  morning, 
and  he  arrived  at  Fontainebleau  at  two  o'clock.  This  is 
indeed  zeal!'^  exclaimed  the  king,  delighted  to  see  himself 
so  promptly  obeyed.  "On  the  contrary.  Monsieur  Fouquet 
shall  have  his  audience.  I  summoned  him,  and  will  receive 
him.  Let  him  be  introduced.  As  for  you,  count,  pursue 
your  inquiries,  and  be  here  to-morrow." 

The  king  placed  his  finger  on  his  lips;  and  St.  Aignan, 
his  heart  brimful  of  happiness,  hastily  withdrew,  telling  the 
usher  to  introduce  M.  Fouquet,  who  thereupon  entered 
the  king's  apartment.     Louis  rose  to  receive  him. 

"Grood-evening,  Monsieur  Fouquet,"  he  said,  smiling 
graciously;  "I  congratulate  you  on  your  punctuality;  and 
yet  my  message  must  have  reached  you  late?" 

"At  nine  in  the  evening,  sire." 

"You  have  been  v/orking  very  hard  lately.  Monsieur  Fou- 
quet, for  I  have  been  informed  that  you  have  not  left  your 
rooms  at  St.  Mande  during  the  last  three  or  four  days." 

"It  is  perfectly  true,  your  majesty,  that  I  have  kept  my- 
self shut  up  for  the  past  three  days,"  replied  Fouquet. 

"Do  you  know.  Monsieur  Fouquet,  that  I  had  a  great 
many  things  to  say  to  you?"  continued  the  king,  with  a 
most  gracious  air. 

"Your  majesty  overwhelms  me,  and  since  you  are  so 
graciously  disposed  toward  me,  will  your  majesty  permit  me 
to  remind  you  of  the  promise  your  majesty  made  to  grant 
me  an  audience?" 

"Ah,  yes;  some  church  dignitary,  who  thinks  he  has  to 
thank  me  for  something,  is  it  not?" 

"Precisely  so,  sire.  The  hour  is,  perhaps,  badly  chosen; 
but  the  time  of  the  companion  whom  I  have  brought  with 
me  is  valuable,  and  as  Fontainebleau  is  on  the  way  to  his 
diocese " 

"Who  is  it,  then?" 

"The  last  Bishop  of  Vannes,  whose  appointment  your 

TEN    YEAKS   LATER.  335 

majesty,  at  my  recommendation,  deigned,  three  months 
since,  to  sign." 

"That  is  very  possible,"  said  the  king,  who  had  signed 
without  reading;  "and  is  he  here?" 

"Yes,  sire;  Vann^s  is  an  important  diocese;  the  flock  be- 
longing to  this  pastor  need  his  religions  consolation;  they 
are  savages,  whom  it  is  necessary  to  polish,  at  the  same  time 
that  he  instructs  them,  and  Monsieur  d'Herblay  is  un- 
equaled  in  such  kind  of  missions." 

"Monsieur  d'Herblayl"  said  the  king  musingly,  as  if 
his  name,  heard  long  since,  was  not,  however,  unknown  to 

"Oh!"  said  Fouquet  promptly,  "your  majesty  is  not 
acquainted  with  the  obscure  name  of  one  of  your  most 
faithful  and  most  valuable  servants?" 

"No,  I  confess  I  am  not.  And  so  he  wishes  to  set  ofE 

"He  has  this  very  day  received  letters  which  will,  per- 
haps, compel  him  to  leave,  so  that,  before  setting  off  for 
that  unknown  region  called  Bretagne,  he  is  desirous  of  pay- 
ing his  respects  to  your  majesty." 

"Is  he  waiting?" 

"He  is  here,  sire." 

"Let  him  enter." 

Fouquet  made  a  sign  to  the  usher  in  attendance,  who  was 
waiting  behind  the  tapestry.  The  door  opened,  and  Aramis 
entered.  The  king  allowed  him  to  finish  the  compliments 
which  he  addressed  to  him,  and  fixed  a  long  look  upon  a 
countenance  which  no  one  could  forget  after  having  once 
beheld  it. 

"Vannes!"  he  said;  "you  are  a  Bishop  of  Vannes,  I 

"Yes,  sire." 

"Vannes  is  in  Bretagne,  I  think?" 

Aramis  bowed. 

"Near  the  coast?" 

Aramis  again  bowed. 

"A  few  leagues  from  Belle-Isle,  is  it  not?" 

"Yes,  sire,"  replied  Aramis;  "six  leagues,  I  believe." 

"Six  leagues;  a  mere  step,  then,"  said  Louis  XIV. 

"Not  for  us  poor  Bretons,  sire,"  replied  Aramis;  "six 
leagues,  on  the  contrary,  is  a  great  distance,  if  it  be  six 
leagues  on  land,  and  an  immense  distance,  if  it  be  leagues 
on  the  sea.  Besides,  I  have  the  honor  to  mention  to  your 
majesty  that  there  are  six  leagues  of  sea  from  the  river  to 

336  TEN    YEARS    LATEE. 

"It  is  said  that  Monsieur  Fouquet  has  a  very  beautiful 
house  there?"  inquired  the  king. 

*'Yes,  it  is  said  so/'  replied  Aramis,  looking  quietly  at 

"What  do  you  mean  by  4t  is  said  so?'  "  exclaimed  the 

"He  has,  sire." 

"Kealiy,  Monsieur  Fouquet,  I  must  confess  that  one  cir- 
cumstance surprises  me." 

"What  may  that  be,  sire?" 

"That  you  should  have  at  the  head  of  your  parishes  a 
man  like  Monsieur  d'Herblay,  and  yet  should  not  have 
shown  him  Belle-Isle." 

"Oh,  sire,"  replied  the  bishop,  without  giving  Fouquet 
time  to  answer,  "we  poor  Breton  prelates  seldom  leave  our 

"Monsieur  de  Vannes,"  said  the  king,  "I  will  punish 
Monsieur  Fouquet  for  his  indifference." 

"In  what  way,  sire?" 

"I  will  change  your  bishopric." 

Fouquet  bit  his  lips,  but  Aramis  only  smiled. 

"What  income  does  Vannes  bring  you  in?"  continued 
the  king. 

"Sixty  thousand  livres,  sire,"  said  Aramis. 

"So  trifling  an  amount  as  that?  But  you  possess  other 
property.  Monsieur  de  Vannes?" 

"I  have  nothing  else,  sire;  only  Monsieur  Fouquet  pays 
me  one  thousand  two  hundred  livres  a  year  for  his  pew  in 
the  church," 

"Well,  Monsieur  d'Herblay,  I  promise  you  something 
better  than  that." 

''Sire " 

"I  will  not  forget  you." 

Aramis  bowed,  and  the  king  also  bowed  to  him  in  a  re- 
spectful manner,  as  he  was  always  accustomed  to  do  toward 
women  and  members  of  the  church.  Aramis  gathered  that 
his  audience  was  at  an  end;  he  took  his  leave  of  the  king  in 
the  simple,  unpretending  language  of  a  country  pastor,  and 

"His  is,  indeed,  a  remarkable  face,"  said  the  king,  follov/- 
ing  him  with  his  eyes  as  long  as  he  could  see  him,  and  even 
to  a  certain  degree  when  he  was  no  longer  to  be  seen. 

"Sire,"  replied  Fouquet,  "if  that  bishop  had  been  edu- 
cated early  in  life,  no  prelate  in  the  kingdom  would  deserve 
the  highest  distinctions  better  than  he." 

TEK   YEARS   LATEE.  337 

"His  learning  is  not  extensive,  then?" 

"He  changed  the  sword  for  the  priest^s  garments,  and 
that  rather  late  in  life.  But  it  matters  little,  if  your 
majesty  will  permit  me  to  speak  of  Monsieur  de  Vannes 
again  on  another  occasion " 

"I  beg  you  to  do  so.  But  before  speaking  of  him,  let  us 
speak  of  yourself.  Monsieur  Eouquet." 

"Of  me,  sire?" 

"Yes;  I  have  to  pay  you  a  thousand  compliments." 

"I  cannot  express  to  your  majesty  the  delight  v/ith 
which  you  overwhelm  me." 

"I  understand  you.  Monsieur  Fouquet.  I  confess,  how- 
ever, to  have  had  certain  prejudices  against  you." 

"In  that  case,  I  was  indeed  unhappy,  sire." 

"But  they  exist  no  longer.     Did  you  not  perceive " 

"I  did,  indeed,  sire;  but  I  awaited  with  resignation  the 
day  when  the  truth  would  prevail;  and  it  seems  that  that 
day  has  now  arrived." 

"Ah!  you  knew,  then,  you  were  in  disgrace  with  me?" 

"Alas!  sire,  I  perceived  it." 

'  And  do  you  know  the  reason?" 

"Perfectly  well;  your  majesty  thought  that  I  had  been 
wastefully  lavish  in  expenditure." 

"Not  so;  far  from  that." 

"Or  rather,  an  indifferent  administrator.  In  a  word, 
your  majesty  thought  that,  as  people  had  no^money,  there 
would  be  none  for  your  majesty  either." 

"Yes,  I  thought  so;  but  I  was  deceived." 

Fouquet  bowed. 

"And  no  disturbances,  no  complaints?" 

"And  money  enough,"  said  Fouquet. 

"The  fact  is,  that  you  have  been  profuse  with  it  during 
the  last  mouth." 

"I  have  more  still,  not  only  for  all  your  majesty's  re- 
quirements, but  for  all  your  caprices." 

"I  thank  yop.  Monsieur  Fouquet,"  replied  the  king 
seriously.  "I  will  not  put  you  to  the  proof.  For  the  next 
two  months  I  do  not  intend  to  ask  you  for  anything." 

"I  will  avail  myself  of  the  interval  to  amass  five  or  six 
millions,  which  will  be  serviceable  as  money  in  hand  in  case 
of  war." 

"Five  or  six  millions!" 

"For  the  expenses  of  your  majesty's  household  only,  be 
it  understood." 

"You  think  war  is  probable.  Monsieur  Fouquet?" 

Dumas— Vol.   KST.  15 

338  TEK   TEARS    LATER. 

''I  think  that  if  Heaven  has  bestowed  on  the  eagle  a  beak 
and  olaws,  it  is  to  enable  him  to  shoAV  his  royal  character." 

The  king  blushed  with  pleasure. 

"We  have  spent  a  great  deal  of  money  these  few  days 
past.  Monsieur  Fouquet;  will  you  not  scold  me  for  it?" 

"Sire,  your  majesty  has  still  twenty  years  of  youth  to 
enjoy,  and  a  thousand  million  of  francs  to  spend  in  those 
twenty  years," 

"That  is  a  great  deal  of  money.  Monsieur  Fouquet,"  said 
the  king. 

"I  will  economize,  sire.  Besides,  your  majesty  has  two 
valuable  men  in  Monsieur  Colbert  and  myself.  The  one 
will  encourage  you  to  be  prodigal  with  your  treasures — and 
this  shall  be  myself,  if  my  services  should  continue  to  be 
agreeable  to  your  majesty;  and  the  other  will  economize 
money  for  you,  and  this  will  be  Monsieur  Colbert's 

"Monsieur  Colbert?"  returned  the  king,  astonished. 

"Certainly,  sire;  Monsieur  Colbert  is  an  excellent 

At  this  commendation,  bestowed  by  the  enemy  on  the 
enemy  himself,  the  king  felt  himself  penetrated  with  con- 
fidence and  admiration.  There  was  not,  moreover,  either 
in  Fouquet's  voice  or  look,  anything  which  injuriously 
affected  a  single  syllable  of  the  remark  he  had  made;  he 
did  not  pass  one  eulogium,  as  it  were,  in  order  to  acquire 
the  right  of  making  two  reproaches.  The  king  compre- 
hended him,  and  yielding  to  so  much  generosity  and 
address,  he  said: 

"You  praise  Monsieur  Colbert,  then?" 

"Yes,  sire,  I  praise  him;  for,  besides  being  a  man  of 
merit,  I  believe  him  to  be  very  devoted  to  your  majesty's 

"Is  that  because  he  has  often  interfered  with  your  own 
views?"  said  the  king,  smiling. 

"Exactly,  sire." 

"Explain  yourself." 

"It  is  simple  enough.  I  am  the  man  who  is  needed  to 
make  the  money  come  in;  he  the  man  who  is  needed  to 
prevent  it  leaving." 

"Nay,  nay.  Monsieur  le  Surintendant;  you  will  presently 
say  something  which  will  correct  this  good  opinion?" 

"Do  you  mean  as  far  as  administrative  abilities  are  con- 
cerned, sire?" 


TEN    YEARS    LATER.  339 

''Not  in  the  slightest." 


"Upon  my  honor,  sire,  I  do  not  know,  throughout 
France,  a  better  clerk  than  Monsieur  Colbert." 

This  word  "clerk"  did  not  possess,  in  1661,  the  some- 
what subservient  signification  which  is  attached  to  it  in  the 
present  day;  but,  as  spoken  by  Fouquet,  whom  the  king 
had  addressed  as  the  surintendant,  it  seemed  to  acquire  an 
insignificant  and  petty  character,  which  served  admirably 
to  restore  Fouquet  to  his  place  and  Colbert  to  his  own. 

"And  yet,"  said  Louis  XIV.,  "it  was  he,  however,  who, 
notwithstanding  his  economy,  had  the  arrangement  of  my 
fetes  here  at  Fontainebleau;  and  I  assure  you,  Monsieur 
Fouquet,  that  in  no  way  has  he  interfered  with  the  ex- 
penditure of  money." 

Fouquet  bowed,  but  did  not  reply. 

"Is  it  not  your  opinion,  too?"  said  the  king. 

"I  think,  sire,"  he  replied,  "that  Monsieur  Colbert  has 
done  what  he  had  to  do  in  an  exceedingly  orderly  manner, 
and  that  he  deserves,  in  this  respect,  all  the  praise  your 
majesty  may  bestow  upon  him." 

The  word  "orderly"  was  a  proper  accompaniment  for 
the  word  "clerk."  The  king  possessed  that  extreme  sensi- 
tiveness of  organization,  that  delicacy  of  perception,  which 
pierced  through  and  detected  the  regular  order  of  feelings 
and  sensations,  before  the  actual  sensations  themselves,  and 
he  therefore  comprehended  that  the  clerk  had,  in  Fouquet's 
opinion,  been  too  full  of  method  and  order  in  his  arrange- 
ments; in  other  words,  that  the  magnificent /e/es  of  Fon- 
tainebleau might  have  been  rendered  more  magnificent  still. 
The  king  consequently  felt  that  there  was  something  in  the 
amusements  he  had  provided  with  which  some  person  or 
another  might  be  able  to  find  fault;  he  experienced  a  little 
of  the  annoyance  felt  by  a  person  coming  from  the  provinces 
to  Paris,  dressed  out  in  the  very  best  clothes  which  his 
wardrobe  can  furnish,  and  finds  that  the  fashionably  dressed 
man  there  looks  at  him  either  too  much  or  not  enough. 
This  part  of  the  conversation,  which  Fouquet  had  carried 
on  with  so  much  moderation,  yet  with  such  extreme  tact, 
inspired  the  king  with  the  highest  esteem  for  the  character 
of  the  man  and  the  capacity  of  the  minister.  Fouquet  took 
his  leave  at  two  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and  the  king  went 
to  bed,  a  little  uneasy  and  confused  at  the  indirect  lesson 
he  had  just  received;  and  two  good  quarters  of  an  hour 
were  employed  by  him  in  going  over  again  in  his  memory 

340  TEN   YEARS    LATER. 

the  embroideries,  the  tapestries,  the  bills  of  fare  of  the 
various  banquets,  the  architecture  for  the  triumphal  arches, 
'the  arrangements  for  the  illuminations  and  fireworks,  all 
the  offspring  of  the  "Clerk  Colbert's"  invention.  The 
result  was,  that  the  king  passed  in  review  before  him  every- 
thing that  had  taken  place  during  the  last  eight  days,  and 
decided  that  faults  could  be  found  in  his  fetes.  But  Fou- 
quet,  by  his  politeness,  his  thoughtful  consideration,  and  his 
generosity,  had  injured  Colbert  more  deeply  than  the  latter 
by  his  artifice,  his  ill-will,  and  his  persevering  hatred  had 
ever  succeeded  in  injuring  Fouquet. 



As  we  have  seen,  St.  Aignan  had  quitted  the  king's  apart- 
ment at  the  very  moment  the  surintendant  entered  it.  St. 
Aignan  was  charged  with  a  mission  which  required  dis- 
patch, and  he  was  going  to  do  his  utmost  to  turn  his  time 
to  the  best  possible  advantage.  He  whom  we  have  intro- 
duced as  the  king's  friend  was  indeed  an  uncommon  per- 
sonage; he  was  one  of  those  valuable  courtiers  whose  vigilance 
and  acuteness  of  perception  threw  all  past  and  future 
favorites  into  the  shade,  and  counterbalanced,  by  his  close 
attention,  the  servility  of  Dangeau,  who  was  not  the  favor- 
ite, but  the  toady  of  the  king.  M.  de  St.  Aignan  began  to 
think  what  was  to  be  done  in  the  present  position  of  affairs. 
He  reflected  that  his  first  information  ought  to  come  from 
De  Guiche.  He  therefore  set  out  in  search  of  him,  but  De 
Guiche,  whom  we  saw  disappear  behind  one  of  the  wings  of 
the  chateau,  and  who  seemed  to  have  returned  to  his  own 
apartments,  had  not  entered  the  chateau.  St.  Aignan, 
therefore,  went  in  quest  of  him,  and  after  having  turned, 
and  twisted,  and  searched  in  every  direction,  he  perceived 
something  like  a  human  form  leaning  against  a  tree.  This 
figure  was  as  motionless  as  a  statue,  and  seemed  deeply  en- 
gaged in  looking  at  a  window,  although  its  curtains  were 
closely  drawn.  As  this  window  happened  to  be  madame's, 
St.  Aignan  concluded  that  the  form  in  question  must  be 
that  of  De  Guiche.  He  advanced  cautiously,  and  found 
that  he  was  not  mistaken.  De  Guiche  had,  after  his  con- 
versation with  madame,  carried  away  such  a  weight  of  hap- 
piness that  all  his  strength  of  mind  was  hardly  sufficient  to 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  341 

enable  him  to  support  it.  On  his  side,  St.  Aignan  knew 
that  De  Guiche  had  had  something  to  do  with  La  Valliere's 
introduction  to  madame's  household,  for  a  courtier  knows 
everything  and  forgets  nothing;  but  he  had  never  learned 
under  what  title  or  conditions  De  Guiche  had  conferred  his 
protection  upon  La  Valliere.  But,  as  in  asking  a  great 
many  questions  it  is  singular  if  a  man  does  not  learn  some- 
thing, St.  Aignan  reckoned  upon  learning  much  or  little, 
as  it  might  be,  if  he  were  to  question  De  Guiche  with  that 
extreme  tact,  and,  at  the  same  time,  with  that  persistence 
in  attaining  an  object  of  which  he  was  capable.  St. 
Aignan's  plan  was  the  following:  if  the  information  obtained 
was  satisfactory,  he  would  inform  the  king,  with  effusion, 
that  he  had  alighted  upon  a  pearl,  and  claim  the  privilege 
of  setting  the  pearl  in  question  in  the  royal  crown.  If  the 
information  were  unsatisfactory,  which,  after  all,  might  be 
possible,  he  would  examine  how  far  the  king  cared  about 
La  Valliere,  and  make  use  of  his  information  in  such  a 
manner  as  to  get  rid  of  the  girl  altogether,  and  thereby 
obtain  all  the  merit  of  her  banishment  with  all  those  ladies 
of  the  court  who  might  have  any  pretensions  upon  the 
king's  heart,  beginning  with  madame,  and  finishing  with  the 
queen.  In  case  the  king  should  show  himself  obstinate  in 
his  fancy,  then  he  would  not  produce  the  damaging  infor- 
mation lie  had  obtained,  but  would  let  Valliere  know  that 
this  damaging  information  was  carefully  preserved  in  a 
secret  drawer  of  her  confidant's  memory;  in  this  manner  he 
would  be  able  to  display  his  generosity  before  the  poor  girl's 
eyes,  and  so  keep  her  in  constant  suspense  between  grati- 
tude and  apprehension,  to  such  an  extent  as  to  make  her  a 
friend  at  court,  interested,  as  an  accomplice,  in  making  her 
accomplice's  fortune,  while  she  was  making  her  own.  As 
far  as  concerned  the  day  when  the  bombshell  of  the  past 
should  burst,  if  ever  there  should  be  any  occasion  for  its 
bursting,  St.  Aignan  promised  himself  that  he  would  by 
that  time  have  taken  all  possible  precautions,  and  would 
pretend  an  entire  ignorance  of  the  matter  to  the  king; 
while,  with  regard  to  La  Valliere,  he  would  still,  even  on 
that  day,  have  an  opportunity  of  being  considered  the 
personification  of  generosity.  It  was  with  such  ideas  as 
these,  which  the  fire  of  covetousness  had  caused  to  dawn 
into  being  in  half  an  hour,  that  St.  Aignan,  the  best  son  in 
the  world,  as  La  Fontaine  would  have  said,  determined  to 
get  De  Guiche  into  conversation;  in  other  words,  to  trouble 
him  in  his  happiness — a  happiness  of  which  St.  Aignan  was 

842  TEN   TEARS   LATER. 

quite  ignorant.  It  was  one  o'clock  in  the  morning  when 
St.  Aignan  perceived  De  Guiche,  standing  motionless,  lean- 
ing against  the  trunk  of  a  tree,  with  his  eyes  fastened  upon 
the  lighted  window.  One  o'clock  in  the  morning,  that  is, 
the  softest  hour  of  night-time,  that  which  painters  crown 
with  myrtles  and  budding  poppies,  the  hour  when  eyes  are 
heavy,  hearts  are  throbbing,  and  heads  feel  dull  and  languid 
— an  hour  which  casts  upon  the  day  which  has  passed  away 
a  look  of  regret,  which  addresses  a  loving  greeting  to  the 
dawning  light.  For  De  Guiche  it  was  the  dawn  of  unutter- 
able happiness;  he  would  have  bestowed  a  treasure  upon  a 
beggar,  had  he  stood  before  him,  to  secure  him  an  unin- 
terrupted indulgence  in  his  dreams.  It  was  precisely  at 
this  hour  that  St.  Aignan,  badly  advised — selfishness  always 
counsels  badly — came  and  struck  him  on  the  shoulder  at 
the  very  moment  he  was  murmuring  a  word,  or  rather,  a 

"Ah!"  he  cried  loudly,  "I  was  looking  for  you." 

"For  me?"  said  De  Guiche,  starting. 

"Yes;  and  I  find  you  seemingly  moon-struck.  Is  it 
likely,  my  dear  comte,  you  have  been  attacked  by  a  poetical 
malady,  and  are  making  verses?" 

The  young  man  forced  a  smile  upon  his  lips,  while  a 
thousand  conflicting  sensations  were  muttering  against  St. 
Aignan  in  the  deep  recesses  of  his  heart. 

"Perhaps,"  he  said.     "But  by  what  happy  chance " 

"Ah!  your  remark  shows  that  you  did  not  hear  what  I 

"Hov  so?" 

"Why,  I  began  by  telling  you  I  was  looking  for  you." 

"You  were  looking  for  me?" 

"Yes;  and  I  find  you  now  in  the  very  act." 

"Of  doing  what,  I  should  like  to  know?" 

'^Of  singing  the  praises  of  Phillis." 

"Well,  I  do  not  deny  it,"  said  De  Guiche,  laughing. 
"Yes,  my  dear  comte,  I  was  celebrating  Phillis'  praises." 

"And  you  have  acquired  the  right  to  do  so." 


"You;  no  doubt  of  it.  You,  the  intrepid  protector  of 
every  beautiful  and  clever  woman." 

"In  the  name  of  goodness,  what  story  have  you  got  hold 
of  now?" 

"Acknowledged  truths,  I  am  well  aware.  But  stay  a 
moment;  I  am  in  love." 


TEN    \EARS    LATER.  343 


"So  much  the  better,  my  dear  comte;  tell  me  all  about 

And  De  Guiche,  afraid  that  St.  Aignan  might  perhaps 
presently  observe  the  window  where  the  light  was  still 
burning,  took  the  comte's  arm  and  endeavored  to  lead  him 

"Oh!"  said  the  latter,  resisting,  "do  not  take  me  toward 
those  dark  woods,  it  is  too  damp  there.  Let  us  stay  in  the 

And  while  he  yielded  to  the  pressure  of  De  Quiche's  arm, 
he  remained  in  the  flower-garden  adjoining  the  chateau. 

"Well,"  said  De  Guiche,  resigning  himself,  "lead  me 
where  you  like,  and  ask  me  what  you  please." 

"It  is  impossible  to, be  more  agreeable  than  you  are." 

And  then,  after  a  moment's  silence,  St.  Aignan  continued: 

"I  wish  you  to  tell  me  something  about  a  certain  person 
in  whom  you  have  interested  yourself." 

"And  Avith  whom  you  are  in  love?" 

"I  will  neither  admit  nor  deny  it.  You  understand  that 
a  man  does  not  very  readily  place  his  heart  where  there  is 
no  hope  of  return,  and  th-t  it  is  most  essential  he  should 
take  measures  of  security  in  advance." 

"You  are  right,"  said  De  Guiche,  with  a  sigh;  "a  heart 
is  a  precious  gift." 

"Mine  particularly  is  very  tender,  and  in  that  light  I 
present  it  to  you." 

"Oh!  you  are  well  known,  comte.     Well?" 

"It  is  simply  a  question  of  Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay- 

"Whyj  my  dear  St.  Aignan,  you  are  losing  your  senses, 
I  should  think." 

"Why  so?" 

"I  have  never  shown  or  taken  any  interest  in  Mademoiselle 
de  Tonnay-Charente." 



"Did  you  not  obtain  admission  for  Mademoiselle  de 
Tonnay-Charente  into  madame's  household?" 

"Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Oharente — and  you  ought  to 
know  it  better  than  any  one  else,  my  dear  comte — is  of  a 
sufficiently  good  family  to  make  her  presence  here  desira- 
ble, and  a  greater  reason,  therefore,  to  render  her  admit- 
tance very  easy." 

"You  are  jesting." 

344  TEN   TEARS   LATER. 

"No;  and  upon  my  honor,  I  do  not  know  what  you 

"And  you  had  nothing,  then,  to  do  with  her  admission?'' 


"You  do  not  know  her?" 

"I  saw  her  for  the  first  time  the  day  she  was  presented  to 
madame.  Therefore,  as  I  have  never  taken  any  interest  in 
her,  as  I  do  not  know  her,  I  am  not  able  to  give  you  the 
information  you  require." 

And  De  Guiche  made  a  movement  as  though  he  were 
about  to  leave  his  questioner. 

"Nay,  nay,  one  moment,  my  dear  comte,"  said  St. 
Aignan;  "you  shall  not  escape  me  in  this  manner." 

"Why,  really,  it  seems  to  me  that  it  is  now  time  to  return 
to  our  apartments." 

"And  yet  you  were  not  going  in  when  I — did  not  meet, 
but  found  you." 

"Therefore,  my  dear  comte,"  said  De  Guiche,  "as  long 
as  you  have  anything  to  say  to  me,  I  place  myself  entirely 
at  your  service." 

"And  you  are  quite  right  in  doing  so.  What  matters 
half  an  hour,  more  or  less?  Will  you  swear  that  you  have 
no  injurious  commuuicatious  to  make  to  me  about  her,  and 
that  any  injurious  communications  you  might  possibly  have 
to  make  are  not  the  cause  of  your  silence?" 

"Oh!  I  believe  the  poor  child  to  be  as  pure  as  crystal." 

"You  overwhelm  me  with  joy.  iVnd  yet  I  do  not  wish 
to  have  toward  you  the  appearance  of  a  man  so  badly  in- 
formed as  I  seem.  It  is  quite  certain  that  you  supplied  the 
princess'  household  with  the  ladies  of  honor.  Nay,  a  song 
even  has  been  written  about  it." 

"You  know  that  songs  are  written  about  everything." 
"Do  you  know  it?" 

"No;  sing  it  to  me,  and  I  shall  make  its  acquaintance." 
"I  cannot  tell  you  how  it  begins,  I  only  remember  how  it 

"Very  well;  at  all  events,  that  is  something." 

""  Guiche  is  the  furnisher 
Of  the  maids  of  honor.'  " 

"The  idea  is  weak,  and  the  rhyme  poor,"  said  De  Guiche. 

"What  can  you  expect,  my  dear  fellow?  It  is  not  Racine 
or  Moliere,  but  La  Feuillade's,  and  a  great  lord  cannot 
rhyme  like  a  beggarly  poet." 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  345 

**It  is  very  unfortunate,  though,  that  you  only  remember 
the  termination." 

"Stay,  stay;  1  have  just  recollected  the  beginning  of  the 
second  couplet. 

"  '  He  has  stodk'd  the  birdcage, 
Montalais  and ' " 

"And  La  Valliere,"  exclaimed  De  Guiche  impatiently, 
and  completely  ignorant,  besides,  of  St.  Aignan's  object. 

"Yes,  yes,  you  have  it.  You  have  it  upon  the  word  La 

"A  grand  discovery,  indeed." 

"Montalais  and  La  Valliere,  these,  then,  are  the  two 
young  girls  in  whom  you  interest  yourself,"  said  St.  Aignan, 

"And  so.  Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Charente's  name  is  • 
not  to  be  met  with  in  the  song?" 

"No,  indeed." 

"Are  you  satisfied,  then?" 

"Perfectly;  but  I  find  Montalais'  there,"  said  St.  Aignan, 
still  laughing. 

"Oh!  you  will  find  her  everywhere.  She  is  a  most  active 
young  lady." 

"You  know  her?" 

"Indirectly.  She  was  the  protegee  of  a  man  named  Mali- 
come,  who  is  a  protege  of  Manicamp's.  Manicamp  asked 
me  to  get  the  situation  of  maid  of  honor  for  Montalais  in 
madame's  household,  and  a  situation  for  Malicorne  as  an 
oflBcer  in  Monsieur's  household.  Well,  I  asked  for  the 
appointments,  and  you  know  very  well  that  I  have  a  weak- 
ness for  that  droll  fellow,  Manicamp." 

"And  you  obtained  what  you  sought?" 

"For  Montalais,  yes;  for  Malicorne,  yes  and  no;  for  as 
yet  he  is  only  tolerated  there.  Do  you  wish  to  know  any- 
thing else?" 

"The  last  word  of  the  couplet  still  remains.  La  Valliere," 
said  St.  Aignan,  resuming  the  smile  which  had  so  tormented 
De  Guiche. 

"Well,"  said  the  latter,  "it  is  true  that  I  obtained  admis- 
sion for  her  in  madame's  household." 

"Ah,  ah!"  said  St.  Aignan. 

"But,"  continued  De  Guiche,  assuming  a  great  coldness 
of  manner,  "you  will  oblige  me,  comte,  not  to  jest  about 
that  name.  Mademoiselle  la  Baume  le  Blanc  de  la  Valliere 
is  a  youug  lady  perfectly  well  conducted." 

346  TEN    TEARS    LATER. 

"Perfectly  well  conducted,  do  vou  say?" 


"Then  you  have  not  heard  the  last  rumor?"  exclaimed 
St.  Aignan. 

"No;  and  you  will  do  me  a  service,  my  dear  comte,  in 
keeping  this  report  to  yourself  and  to  those  who  circulate 

"Ah,  bah  I  you  take  the  matter  up  very  seriously." 

"Yes;  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere  is  beloved  by  one  of 
my  best  friends." 

St.  Aignan  started. 

"Oh,  oh!"  he  said. 

"Yes,  comte,"  continued  De  Guiche;  "and  consequently, 
you,  the  most  distinguished  man  in  France  for  his  polished 
courtesy  of  manner,  will  understand  that  I  cannot  allow 
my  friend  to  be  placed  in  a  ridiculous  position." 

St.  Aignan  began  to  bite  his  nails,  partially  from  vexation, 
and  partially  from  disappointed  curiosity.  De  Guiche  made 
him  a  very  profound  bow. 

"You  send  me  away,"  said  St.  Aignan,  who  was  dying  to 
know  the  name  of  the  friend. 

"I  do  not  send  you  away,  my  dear  fellow.  I  am  going 
to  finish  my  lines  to  Phillis." 

"And  those  lines " 

"Are  a  quatrain.  You  understand,  I  trust,  that  a 
quaircHn  is  a  serious  affair?" 

"Of  course." 

"And  as  of  these  four  lines,  of  which  it  is  naturally  com- 
posed, I  have  yet  three  and  a  half  to  make,  I  need  my  un- 
divided attention." 

"I  quite  understand.     Adieu,  comte.     By  the  bye " 


"Are  you  quick  at  making  verses?" 
"Wonderfully  so." 

"Will  you  quite  have  finished  the  three  lines  and  a  half 
to-morrow  morning?" 

"I  hope  so." 

"Adieu,  then,  until  to-morrow." 
"Adieu,  adieu!" 

St  Aignan  was  obliged  to  accept  the  notice  to  quit;  he 
accordingly  did  so,  and  disappeared  behind  the  hedge. 
Their  conversation  had  led  De  Guiche  and  St.  Aignan  a 
good  distance  from  the  chateau. 

Every  mathematician,  every  poet,  and  every  dreamer  has 
Ms  means  of  diverting  his  attention.     St.  Aignan,  then,  on 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  347 

leaving  De  Guiche,  found  himself  at  the  extremity  of  the 
grove — at  the  very  spot  where  the  outbuildings  for  the 
servants  begin,  and  where,  behind  thickets  of  acacias  and 
chestnut-trees  interlacing  their  branches,  which  were  hidden 
by  masses  of  clematis  and  young  vines,  the  wall  which 
separated  the  woods  from  the  courtyard  of  these  outbuild- 
ings was  erected.  St.  Aignan,  alone,  took  the  path  which 
led  toward  these  buildings,  De  Guiche  going  oS  in  the  very 
opposite  direction.  The  one  proceeded  toward  the  flower- 
garden,  while  the  other  bent  his  steps  toward  the  walls. 
St.  Aignan  walked  on.  between  rows  of  the  mountain-ash, 
lilac,  and  hawthorn,  which  formed  an  almost  impenetrable 
roof  above  his  head;  his  feet  were  buried  in  the  soft  gravel 
and  the  thick  moss.  He  was  deliberating  over  a  means  of 
taking  his  revenge,  which  it  seemed  difficult  for  him  to 
carry  out,  and  was  vexed  with  himself  for  not  having 
learned  more  about  La  Valliere,  notwithstanding  the  in- 
genious measures  he  had  resorted  to  in  order  to  acquire  some 
information  about  her,  when  suddenly  the  murmur  of  a 
human  voice  attracted  his  attention.  He  heard  whispers, 
the  complaining  tones  of  a  woman's  voice  mingled  with 
entreaties,  smothered  laughter,  sighs,  and  half-stifled  ex- 
clamations of  surprise;  but  above  them  all  the  woman's 
voice  prevailed.  St.  Aignan  stopped  to  look  about  him; 
he  perceived  with  the  greatest  surprise  that  the  voices  pro- 
ceeded, not  from  the  ground,  but  from  the  branches  of  the 
trees.  As  he  glided  along  under  the  covered  walk  he 
raised  his  head,  and  observed  at  the  top  of  the  wall  a  woman 
perched  upon  a  ladder,  in  eager  conversation  with  a  man 
seated  on  a  branch  of  a  chestnut-tree,  whose  head  alone 
could  be  seen,  the  rest  of  his  body  being  concealed  in  the 
thick  covert  of  the  chestnut.  The  woman  was  on  the  near 
side  of  the  wall,  the  man  on  the  other  side  of  it. 



St.  Aignan,  who  had  only  been  seeking  for  information, 
had  met  with  an  adventure.  This  was,  indeed,  a  piece  of 
good  luck.  Curious  to  learn  why,  and  particularly  about 
what,  this  man  and  woman  were  conversing  at  such  an  hour 
and  in  such  a  singular  position,  St.  Aignan  made  himself  as 
small  as  he  possibly  could,  and  approached  almost  under 

348  TEN   TEARS   LATER. 

the  rounds  of  the  ladder.  And  taking  measures  to  make 
himself  as  comfortable  as  possible,  he  leaned  his  back  against 
a  tree  and  listened,  and  heard  the  following  conversation. 
The  woman  was  the  first  to  speak. 

"Keally,  Monsieur  Manicamp,"  she  said,  in  a  voice 
which,  notwithstanding  the  reproaches  she  addressed  to 
him,  preserved  a  marked  tone  of  coquetry,  "really,  your 
indiscreetness  is  of  a  very  dangerous  character.  We  cannot 
talk  long  in  this  manner  without  being  observed." 

"That  is  very  probable,"  said  the  man,  in  the  calmest 
and  coolest  of  tones. 

"In  that  case,  then,  what  would  people  say?  Oh!  if  any 
one  were  to  see  me,  I  declare  I  should  die  from  very  shame." 

"Oh!  that  would  be  very  silly,  and  I  do  not  believe  you 
capable  of  it." 

"It  might  have  been  different  if  there  had  been  anything 
between  us;  but  to  do  any  injury  to  myself  gratuitously  is 
really  very  foolish  of  me;  so,  adieu.  Monsieur  Manicamp." 

"So  far,  so  good;  I  know  the  man,  and  now  let  me  see 
who  the  woman  is,"  said  St.  Aignan,  watching  the  rounds 
of  the  ladder,  on  which  were  standing  two  pretty  little  feet 
covered  with  blue  satin  shoes. 

"Nay,  nay,  for  pity's  sake,  my  dear  Montalais,"  cried 
Manicamp.  "Deuce  take  it!  do  not  go  away;  I  have  a 
great  many  things  to  say  to  you,  of  the  greatest  importance, 

"Montalais,"  said  St.  Aignan,  to  himself,  "one  of  the 
three.  Each  of  the  three  gossips  had  her  adventure,  only 
I  had  thought  that  the  hero  of  this  one's  adventure  was 
Malicorne,  and  not  Manicamp." 

At  her  companion's  appeal  Montalais  stopped  in  the 
inicldle  of  her  descent,  and  St.  Aignan  could  observe  the 
unfortunate  Manicamp  climb  from  one  branch  of  the 
chestnut-tree  to  another,  either  to  improve  his  situation  or 
to  overcome  the  fatigue  consequent  upon  his  indifferent 

"Now,  listen  to  me,"  said  he:  "you  quite  understand,  I 
hope,  that  my  intentions  are  perfectly  innocent." 

"Of  course.  But  why  did  you  write  me  a  letter  stimulat- 
ing my  gratitude  toward  you?  Why  did  you  ask  me  for  an 
interview  at  such  an  hour  and  in  such  a  place  as  this?" 

"I  stimulated  your  gratitude  in  reminding  you  that  it 
was  I  who  had  been  the  means  of  your  becoming  attached 
to  madame's  household;  because  most  anxiously  desirous 
of  obtaining  the  interview  which  you  have  been  kind  enough 

TEN"    YEARS    LATEE.  349 

to  grant  me.  I  employed  the  means  which  appeared  to  me 
the  most  certain  to  insure  it.  And  my  reason  for  soliciting 
it  at  such  an  hour  and  in  such  a  locality,  was,  that  the  hour 
seemed  to  me  to  be  the  most  prudent,  and  the  locality  the 
least  open  to  observation.  Moreover,  I  had  occasion  to 
speak  to  you  upon  certain  subjects  which  require  both 
prudence  and  solitude." 

"Monsieur  Manicamp!" 

"But  everything  in  the  most  perfect  honor,  I  assure  you." 

"I  think,  Monsieur  Manicamp,  that  it  will  be  more  be- 
coming in  me  to  take  my  leave." 

"Nay,  listen  to  me,  or  I  shall  jump  from  my  perch  here 
to  yours,  and  be  careful  how  you  set  me  at  defiance;  for  a 
branch  of  this  chestnut-tree  causes  me  a  good  deal  of  annoy- 
ance, and  may  provoke  me  to  extreme  measures.  Do  not 
follow  the  example  of  this  branch,  then,  but  listen  to  me." 

"1  am  listening,  and  I  will  agree  to  do  so;  but  be  as  brief 
as  possible,  for  if  you  have  a  branch  of  the  chestnut-tree 
which  annoys  you,  I  wish  you  to  understand  that  one  of  the 
rounds  of  the  ladder  is  hurting  the  soles  of  my  feet,  and 
my  shoes  are  being  cut  through." 

"Do  me  the  kindness  to  give  me  your  hand." 


"Will  you  have  the  goodness  to  do  so?" 

"There  is  my  hand,  then;  but  what  are  you  going  to  do?" 

"To  draw  you  toward  me." 

"W^hat  for?  You  surely  do  not  wish  me  to  join  you  in 
the  tree?" 

"No;  but  I  wish  you  to  sit  down  upon  the  wall;  there, 
that  will  do;  there  is  quite  room  enough,  and  I  would  give 
a  great  deal  to  be  allowed  to  sit  down  beside  you." 

"No,  no;  you  are  very  well  where  you  are;  we  should  be 

"Do  you  really  think  so?"  said  Manicamp,  in  an  insinuat- 
ing voice. 

"I  am  sure  of  it." 

"Very  well,  I  remain  in  my  tree,  then,  although  I  cannot 
be  worse  placed." 

"Monsieur  Manicamp,  we  are  wandering  away  from  the 

"You're  right,  we  are  so." 

"You  wrote  me  a  letter?" 

"I  did." 

"Why  did  you  write?" 

"Fancy,  that  at  two  o'clock  to-day,  De  Guiche  left." 

350  TEN    YEARS    LATER. 

"What  then?'' 

^'Seeing  him  set  off,  I  followed  him,  as  I  usually  do.'* 

"Of  course,  I  see  that,  since  you  are  here  now." 

"Don't  be  in  a  hurry.  You  are  aware,  I  suppose,  that 
De  Guiche  is  up  to  his  very  neck  in  disgrace?" 

"Alas!  yes." 

"It  was  the  very  height  of  imprudence  on  his  part,  then, 
to  come  to  Fontainebleau  to  seek  those  who  had  at  Paris 
sent  him  away  into  exile,  and  particularly  those  from  whom 
he  had  been  separated." 

"Monsieur  Manicamp,  you  reason  like  Pythagoras  of  old." 

"Moreover,  De  Guiche  is  as  obstinate  as  a  man  in  love 
can  be,  and  he  refused  to  listen  to  any  of  my  remonstrances. 
I  begged,  1  implored  him,  but  he  would  not  listen  to  any- 
thing.    Oh!  the  deuce!" 

"What's  the  matter?" 

"I  beg  your  pardon.  Mademoiselle  Montalais,  but  this 
confounded  branch,  about  which  I  have  already  had  the 
honor  of  speaking  to  you,  has  just  torn  a  certain  portion  of 
my  dress." 

"It  is  quite  dark,"  replied  Montalais,  laughing;  "so,  pray 
continue,  Monsieur  Manicamp." 

"De  Guiche  set  off  on  horseback  as  hard  as  he  could,  I 
following  him  at  a  slower  pace.  You  quite  understand  that 
to  throw  one's  self  into  the  water,  for  instance,  with  a 
friend,  with  the  same  headlong  speed  as  he  himself  would 
do  it,  would  be  the  act  either  of  a  fool  or  a  madman.  I 
therefore  allowed  De  Guiche  to  get  in  advance,  and  I  pro- 
ceeded on  my  way  with  a  commendable  slowness  of  pace, 
feeling  quite  sure  that  my  unfortunate  friend  would  not  be 
received,  or,  if  he  had  been,  that  he  would  ride  off  again  at 
the  very  first  cross,  disagreeable  answer;  and  that  I  should 
see  him  returning  much  faster  than  he  had  gone,  without 
having,  myself,  gone  further  than  Eis  or  Melun — and  that 
even  was  good  distance,  you  will  admit,  for  it  is  eleven 
leagues  to  get  there  and  as  many  to  return." 

Montalais  shrugged  her  shoulders. 

"Laugh  as  much  as  you  like;  but  if,  instead  of  being 
comfortably  seated  on  the  top  of  the  wall  as  you  are,  you 
were  sitting  on  this  branch,  as  if  you  were  on  horseback, 
you  would,  like  Augustus,  aspire  to  descend." 

"Be  patient,  my  dear  Monsieur  Manicamp,  a  few  minutes' 
will  soon  pass  away;  you  were  saying,  I  think,  that  you  had 
gone  beyond  Ris  and  Melun." 

"Yes;  I  went  through  Ris  and  Melun,  and  I  continued  to 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  351 

go  on,  more  and  more  surprised  that  I  did  not  see  him  re- 
turning; and  here  I  am  at  Fontainebleau;  I  look  for  and 
inquire  after  De  Guiche  everywhere,  but  no  one  has  seen 
him,  no  one  in  the  town  has  spoken  to  him;  he  arrived  rid- 
ing at  full  gallop,  he  entered  the  chateau,  where  he  has  dis- 
appeared. I  have  been  here  at  Fontainebleau  since  eight 
o'clock  this  evening,  inquiring  for  De  Guiche  in  every 
direction,  but  no  De  Guiche  can  be  found.  I  am  dying 
from  uneasiness.  You  understand  that  I  have  not  been 
running  my  head  into  the  lion's  den,  in  entering  the 
chateau,  as  my  imprudent  friend  has  done;  I  came  at  once 
to  the  servant's  offices,  and  I  succeeded  in  getting  a  letter 
conveyed  to  you;  and  now,  for  Heaven's  sake,  my  dear 
young  lady,  relieve  me  from  my  anxiety." 

"There  will  be  no  difficulty  in  that,  my  dear  Monsieur 
Manicamp;  your  friend  De  Guiche  has  been  admirably 

"Bah!"     ' 

"The  king  made  quite  a  fuss  with  him." 

"The  king  who  exiled  him!" 

"Madame  smiled  upon  him,  and  Monsieur  appears  to  like 
him  better  than  ever." 

"Ah!  ah!"  said  Manicamp,  "that  explains  to  me,  then, 
why  and  how  he  has  remained.  And  did  he  not  say  any- 
thing about  me?" 

"Not  a  word." 

"That  is  very  unkind.     What  is  he  doing  now?" 

"In  all  probability  he  is  asleep,  or,  if  not  asleep,  he  is 

"And  what  have  they  been  doing  all  the  evening?" 


"The  famous  ballet?    How  did  De  Guiche  look?" 


"Dear  fellow!  And  now,  pray  forgive  me,  Mademoiselle 
Montalais,  but  all  that  I  now  have  to  do  is  to  pass  from 
where  I  now  am  to  your  apartment." 

"What  do  you  mean?" 

"I  cannot  suppose  that  the  door  of  the  chateau  will  be 
opened  for  me  at  this  hour;  and  as  for  spending  the  night 
upon  this  branch,  I  possibly  might  not  object  to  do  so,  but 
I  declare  it  is  impossible  for  any  other  animal  than  a  papegai 
to  do  it." 

"But,  Monsieur  Manicamp,  I  cannot  introduce  a  man 
over  the  wall  in  that  manner." 

"Two,  if  you  please,"  said  a  second  voice,  but  in  so  timid 

352  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

a  tone  that  it  seemed  as  if  its  owner  felt  the  utter  impro- 
priety of  such  a  request. 

"Good  gracious!"  exclaimed  Montalais,  "who  is  that 
speaking  to  me?" 

"Malicorne,  Mademoiselle  Montalais." 

And  as  Malicorne  spoke  he  raised  himself  from  the 
ground  to  the  lowest  branches,  and  thence  to  the  height  of 
the  wall. 

"Monsieur  Malicorne!  why,  you  are  both  mad!" 

"How  do  you  do.  Mademoiselle  Montalais?"  inquired 

"I  needed  but  this!"  said  Montalais,  in  despair. 

"Oh!  Mademoiselle  Montalais,"  murmured  Malicorne; 
"do  not  be  so  severe,  I  beseech  you." 

"In  fact,"  said  Mauicam^o,  "we  are  your  friends,  and  you 
cannot  possibly  wish  yo  tr  friends  to  lose  their  lives;  and 
to  leave  us  to  pass  the  night  where  we  are,  in  fact,  is 
condemning  us  both  to  death." 

"Oh!"  said  Montalais,  "Monsieur  Malicorne  is  so  robust 
that  a  night  passed  in  the  open  air  with  the  beautiful  stars 
above  him  will  not  do  him  any  harm,  and  it  will  be  a  just 
punishment  for  the  trick  he  has  played  me." 

"Be  it  so,  then;  let  Malicorne  arrange  matters  with  you 
in  the  best  way  he  can;  I  pass  over,"  sai^i  Manicamp.  And 
bending  down  the  famous  branch  against  which  he  had 
directed  such  bitter  complaints,  he  succeeded,  by  the  assist- 
ance of  his  hands  and  feet,  in  seating  himself  side  by  side 
with  Montalais,  who  tried  to  push  him  back,  while  he 
endeavored  to  maintain  his  position,  and  in  which,  more- 
over, he  succeeded.  Having  taken  possession  of  the  lad- 
der, he  stepped  on  it,  and  then  gallantly  offered  his_  hand 
to  his  fair  antagonist.  While  this  was  going  on  Malicorne 
had  installed  himself  in  the  chestnut-tree,  in  the  very  place 
Manicamp  had  just  left,  determining  within  himself  to  suc- 
ceed him  in  the  one  which  he  now  occupied.  Manicamp 
and  Montalais  descended  a  few  rounds  of  the  ladder,  Mani- 
camp insisting,  and  Montalais  laughing  and  objecting. 

Suddenly  Malicorne's  voice  was  heard  intones  of  entreaty: 

"I  entreat  you.  Mademoiselle  Montalais,  not  to  leave  me 
here.  My  position  is  very  insecure,  and  some  accident 
will  be  sure  to  befall  me,  if  I  attempt,  unaided,  to  reach 
the  other  side  of  the  wall;  it  does  not  matter  if  Manicamp 
tears  his  clothes,  for  he  can  make  use  of  Monsieur  de 
Quiche's  wardrobe;  but  I  shall  not  be  able  to  use  even  those 
belonging  to  Monsieur  Manicamp,  for  they  will  be  torn." 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  350 

*'My  opinion,"  said  Manicamp,  without  taking  any  notice 
of  Malicorne's  lamentations,  'Ms  that  the  best  thing  to  be 
done  is  to  go  and  look  for  De  Guiche  without  delay,  for,  by 
and  by,  perhaps,  I  may  not  be  able  to  get  to  his  apartments." 

''That  is  my  opinion,  too,"  replied  Montalais;  '*so,  go  at 
once,  Monsieur  Manicamp." 

"A  thousand  thanks.  Adieu,  Mademoiselle  Montalais," 
said  Manicamp,  Jumping  to  the  ground;  ''your  kindness 
cannot  possibly  be  exceeded." 

"Farewell,  Monsieur  Manicamp;  I  am  now  going  to  get 
rid  of  Monsieur  Malicorne." 

Malicorne  sighed.  Manicamp  went  away  a  few  paces,  but 
returning  to  the  foot  of  the  ladder,  he  said,  "By  the  bye, 
which  is  the  way  to  Monsieur  de  Guiche's  apartments?" 

"Nothing  is  easier.  You  go  along  by  the  hedge  until  you 
reach  a  place  where  the  paths  cross." 


"You  will  see  four  paths." 


"One  of  which  you  will  take." 

"Which  of  them?" 

"That  to  the  right." 

"To  the  right?" 

"No,  to  the  left." 

"The  deuce!" 

"No,  no,  wait  a  minute " 

"You  do  not  seem  to  be  quite  sure.     Think  again,  I  beg." 

"You  take  the  middle  path." 

"But  there  are  four." 

"So  there  are.  All  that  I  know  is,  that  one  of  the  four 
paths  leads  straight  to  madam'e's  apartments;  and  that  one 
I  am  well  acquainted  with." 

"But  Monsieur  de  Guiche  is  not  inmadame's  apartments, 
I  suppose?" 

"No,  indeed." 

"Well,  then,  the  path  which  leads  to  madame's  apart- 
ments is  of  no  use  to  me,  and  I  would  willingly  exchange 
it  for  the  one  that  leads  to  where  Monsieur  de  Guiche  is 

"Of  course,  and  I  know  that  as  well;  but  as  for  indicat- 
ing from  where  we  are,  it  is  quite  impossible." 

"Well,  let  us  suppose  that  I  have  succeeded  in  finding 
that  fortunate  path." 

"In  that  case,  you  are  almost  there,  for  you  haye  nothing 
else  to  do  but  to  cross  the  labyrinth.'' 


"Nothing  more  than  that?  The  deuce!  so  there  is  a 
labyrinth  as  well." 

"Yes,  and  complicated  enough,  too;  even  in  daylight 
one  may  sometimes  be  deceived — there  are  turnings  and 
windings  without  end;  in  the  first  place,  you  must  turn 
three  times  to  the  right,  then  twice  to  the  left,  then  turn 
once — stay,  is  it  once  or  twice,  though?  At  all  events, 
when  you  get  clear  of  the  labyrinth  you  will  see  an  avenue 
of  sycamores,  and  this  avenue  leads  straight  to  the  pavilion 
in  which  Monsieur  de  Guiche  is  lodging." 

"Nothing  could  be  more  clearly  indicated,"  said  Mani- 
camp;  "and  I  have  not  the  slightest  doubt  in  the  world  that 
if  I  were  to  follow  your  directions  I  should  lose  my  way 
immediately.  I  have,  therefore,  a  slight  service  to  ask  of 

"What  may  that  be?" 

"That  you  will  offer  me  your  arm  and  guide  me  yourself, 
like  another — like  another — I  used  to  know  mythology,  but 
other  important  matters  have  made  me  forget  it;  pray  come 
with  me,  then." 

"And  am  I  to  be  abandoned,  then?"  cried  Malicorne. 

"It  is  quite  impossible,  monsieur,"  said  Montalais  to 
Manicamp;  "if  I  were  to  be  seen  with  you  at  such  an  hour 
what  would  be  said  of  me?" 

"Your  own  conscience  would  acquit  you,"  said  Mani- 
camp sententiously. 

"Impossible,  monsieur,  impossible." 

"In  that  case,  let  me  assist  Malicorne  to  get  down;  he  is 
a  very  intelligent  fellow,  and  possesses  a  very  keen  scent; 
he  will  guide  me,  and  if  we  lose  ourselves  both  of  us  will 
be  lost,  and  the  one  will  save  the  other.  If  we  are  together, 
and  should  be  met  by  any  one,  we  shall  look  as  if  we  had 
some  matte"r  of  business  in  hand;  while  alone  I  should  have 
the  appearance  either  of  a  lover  or  a  robber.  Come,  Mal- 
icorne, here  is  the  ladder." 

Malicorne  had  already  stretched  out  one  of  his  legs 
toward  the  top  of  the  wall,  when  Manicamp  said,  in  a 
whisper,  "Hush!" 

"What's  the  matter?"  inquired  Montalais. 

"I  hear  footsteps." 

"Good  heavens!" 

In  fact,  the  fancied  footsteps  soon  became  a  reality;  the 
foliage  was  pushed  aside,  and  St.  Aignan  appeared,  with  a 
smile  on  his  lips,  and  his  hand  stretched  out  toward  them, 
taking  every  one  by  surprise,  that  is  to  say,  Malicorne  upon 

TEN    YEARS    LATER.  355 

the  tree  with  his  head  stretched  out,  Montalais  upon  the 
rounds  of  the  ladder  and  clinging  to  it  tightly,  and  Mani- 
camp  on  the  ground  with  his  foot  advanced  ready  to  set  off. 

"Good-evening,  Manicamp,"  said  the  comte,  "I  am  glad 
to  see  you,  my  dear  fellow;  we  missed  you  this  evening,  and 
a  good  many  inquiries  have  been  made  about  you.  Made- 
moiselle de  Montalais,  your  most  obedient  servant." 

Montalais  blushed.  "Good  heavens!"  she  exclaimed, 
hiding  her  face  in  both  her  hands. 

"Pray  reassure  yourself;  I  know  how  perfectly  innocent 
you  are,  and  I  shall  give  a  good  account  of  you.  Mani- 
camp, do  you  follow  me:  the  hedge,  the  cross-paths,  and 
labyrinth,  I  am  well  acquainted  with  them  all;  I  will  be 
your  Ariadne.  There  now,  your  mythological  name  is 
found  at  last." 

"Perfectly  true,  comte." 

"And  take  Monsieur  Malicorne  away  with  you  at  the 
same  time,"  said  Montalais. 

"No,  indeed,"  said  Malicorne;  "Monsieur  Manicamp  has 
conversed  with  you  as  long  as  he  liked,  and  now  it  is  my 
turn,  if  you  please;  I  have  a  multitude  of  things  to  tell  you 
about  our  future  prospects." 

"You  hear,"  said  the  comte,  laughing;  "stay  with  him. 
Mademoiselle  Montalais.  This  is,  indeed,  a  night  for 
secrets."  And,  taking  Manicamp's  arm,  the  comte  led 
him  rapidly  away  in  the  direction  of  the  road  which  Montalais 
knew  so  well,  and  indicated  so  badly.  Montalais  followed 
them  with  her  eyes  as  long  as  she  could  perceive  them. 



While  Montalais  was  engaged  in  looking  after  the  comte 
and  Manicamp,  Malicorne  had  taken  advantage  of  the  young 
girl's  attention  being  drawn  aw  y  to  render  his  position 
somewhat  more  tolerable,  and  when  she  turned  round  she 
immediately  noticed  the  change  which  had  taken  place;  for 
he  had  seated  himself,  like  a  monkey,  upon  the  wall,  with 
his  feet  resting  upon  the  top  rounds  of  the  ladder.  The 
foliage  of  the  wild  vine  and  honeysuckle  curled  round  his 
head  like  a  faun,  while  the  twisted  ivy  branches  represented 
tolerably  enough  his  cloven  feet.     Montalais  required  noth- 

356  TEl-T    YEARS    LATER. 

ing  to  make  her  resemblance  to  a  dyrad  as  complete  as  pos- 
sible. "Well,"  she  said,  ascending  another  round  of  the 
ladder,  "are  you  resolved  to  render  me  unhappy?  Have 
you  not  persecuted  me  enough,  tyrant  that  you  are?" 

"I  a  tyrant?"  said  Malicorne. 

"Yes,  you  are  always  compromising  me,  Monsieur  Mali- 
corne; you  are  a  perfect  monster  of  wickedness." 


"What  have  you  to  do  with  Fontainebleau?  Is  not 
Orleans  your  place  of  residence?" 

"Do  you  ask  me  v/hat  I  have  to  do  here?  I  wanted  to  see 

"Ah,  great  need  of  that." 

"Not  as  far  as  concerns  yourself,  perhaps,  but  as  far  as  I 
am  concerned,  Mademoiselle  Montalais,  you  know  very  well 
that  I  have  left  my  home,  and  that,  for  the  future,  I  have 
no  other  place  of  residence  than  that  which  you  may  hap- 
pen to  have.  As  you,  therefore,  are  staying  at  Fontaine- 
bleau at  the  present  moment,  I  have  come  to  Fontainebleau." 

Montalais  shrugged  her  shoulders.  "You  wished  to  see 
me,  did  you  not?"  she  said. 

"Of  course." 

"Very  well,  you  have  seen  me — you  are  satisfied;  so  now 
go  away." 

"Oh,  no,"  said  Malicorne;  "1  came  to  talk  with  you  as 
well  as  to  see  you." 

"Very  well,  we  will  talk  by  and  by,  and  in  another  place 
than  this." 

"By  and  by!  Heaven  only  knows  if  I  shall  meet  you  by 
and  by  in  another  place.  We  shall  never  find  a  more  favor- 
able one  than  this." 

"But  I  cannot  this  evening,  nor  at  the  present  moment." 

"Why  not?" 

"Because  a  thousand  things  have  happened  to-night." 

"Well,  then,  my  affair  will  make  a  thousand  and  one." 

"No,  no;  Mademoiselle  de  Tonnay-Charente  is  waiting 
for  me  in  our  room  to  communicate  something  of  the  very 
greatest  importance." 

"How  long  has  she  been  waiting?" 

"For  an  hour  at  least." 

"In  that  case,"  said  Malicorne  tranquilly,  "she  will  wait 
a  few  minutes  longer." 

"Monsieur  Malicorne,"  said  Montalais,  "you  are  forget- 
ting yourself." 

"You  should  rather  say  that  it  is  you  who  are  forgetting 

TEN   YEARS    LATER.  357 

me,  and  that  I  am  getting  impatient  at  the  part  you  make 
me  play  here,  indeed!  For  the  last  week  I  have  been 
prowling  about  among  the  company  here,  and  you  have  not 
deigned  once  to  notice  my  presence  here." 

'"Have  you  been  prowling  about  here  for  a  week.  Mon- 
sieur Malicorne?" 

"Like  a  wolf;  sometimes  I  have  been  burned  by  the  fire- 
works, which  have  singed  two  of  my  wigs;  at  others,  I  have 
been  completely  drenched  in  the  osiers  by  the  evening 
damps,  or  the  spray  from  the  fountains — always  half- 
famished,  always  fatigued  to  death,  with  the  view  of  a  wall 
always  before  me,  and  the  prospect  of  having  to  scale  it 
perhaps.  Upon  my  word,  this  is  not  the  sort  of  life  for 
any  one  to  lead  who  is  neither  a  squirrel,  nor  a  salamander, 
nor  an  otter;  and  since  you  drive  your  inhumanity  so  far  'as 
to  wish  to  make  me  renounce  my  own  condition  as  a  man,  I 
declare  it  openly.  A  man  I  am  indeed,  and  a  man  I  will 
remain,  unless  by  superior  orders." 

"Well,  then,  tell  me,  what  do  you  wish — what  do  you 
require — what  do  you  insist  upon?"  said  Montalais,  in  a 
submissive  tone. 

"Do  you  mean  to  tell  me  that  you  did  not  know  I  was  at 


"Nay,  be  frank." 

"I  suspected  so." 

"Well,  then,  could  you  not  have  contrived  during  the 
last  week  to  have  seen  me  once  a  day,  at  least?" 

"I  have  always  been  prevented.  Monsieur  Malicorne." 


"Ask  my  companion,  if  you  do  not  believe  me." 

"I  shall  ask  no  one  to  explain  matters  which  I  know 
better  than  any  one." 

"Compose  yourself.  Monsieur  Malicorne;  things  will 

"They  must,  indeed." 

"You  know  that,  whether  I  see  you  or  not,  I  am  think- 
ing of  you,"  said  Montalais,  in  a  coaxing  tone  of  voice. 

"Oh,  you  are  thinking  of  me,  are  you?  Well,  and  is 
there  anything  new?" 

"What  about?" 

"About  my  post  in  Monsieur's  household." 

"Ah,  my  dear  Monsieur  Malicorne,  no  one  has  ventured 
lately  to  approach  his  royal  highness." 

"Well,  but  now?" 

358  TEN   TEARS   LATER. 

"Now,  it  is  quite  a  difEerent  thing;  since  yesterday  he  has 
left  off  being  jealous." 

"Bah!  how  has  his  jealousy  subsided?" 

"It  has  been  diverted  into  another  channel." 

"Tell  me  all  about  it." 

"A  report  was  spread  that  the  king  had  fallen  in  love 
with  some  one  else,  and  Monsieur  was  tranquillized  im- 

"And  who  spread  the  report?" 

Montalais  lowered  her  voice.  "Between  ourselves,"  she 
said,  "I  think  that  madame  and  the  king 'have  come  to  an 
understanding  about  it." 

"Ah!  ah!"  said  Malicorne;  "that  was  the  only  way  to 
manage  it.     But  what  about  poor  Monsieur  de  Guiche?" 

"Oh,  as  for  him,  he  is  completely  turned  off." 

"Have  they  been  writing  to  each  other?" 

"No,  certainly  not;  I  have  not  seen  a  pen  in  either  of 
their  hands  for  the  last  week." 

"On  what  terms  are  you  with  madame?" 

"The  very  best," 

"And  with  the  king?" 

"The  king  always  smiles  at  me  whenever  I  pass  him.'" 

"Good!  Now  tell  me  whom  have  the  two  lovers  selected 
to  serve  for  their  screen?" 

"La  Valliere." 

"Oh,  oh,  poor  girl!     We  must  prevent  that." 


"Because,  if  Monsieur  Eaoul  de  Bragelonne  were  to  sus- 
pect it,  he  would  either  kill  her  or  kill  himself." 

"Eaoul,  poor  fellow!  do  you  think  so?" 

"Women  pretend  to  have  a  knowledge  of  the  state  of 
people's  affections,"  said  Malicorne,  "and  they  do  not  even 
know  how  to  read  the  thoughts  of  their  own  minds  and 
hearts.  Well,  I  can  tell  you  that  Monsieur  de  Bragelonne' 
loves  La  Valliere  to  such  a  degree  that,  if  she  pretended  to 
deceive  him,  he  would,  I  repeat,  either  kill  himself  or  kill 

"But  the  king  is  there  to  defend  her,"  said  Montalais. 

"The  king!"  exclaimed  Malicorne;  "Eaoul  would  kill 
the  king  as  he  would  a  common  thief." 

"Good  heavens!"  said  Montalais;  "you  are  mad.  Mon- 
sieur Malicorne." 

"Not  in  the  least.  Everything  I  have  told  you  is,  on  the 
contrary,  perfectly  serious;  and,  for  my  own  part,  I  know 
one  thing." 

TEN"   TEARS   LATER.  359 

"What  is  that?" 

"That  I  shall  quietly  tell  Eaoul  of  the  trick." 

"Hush!"  said  Montalais,  ascending  another  round  of  the 
ladder,  so  as  to  approach  Malicorne  more  closely;  "do  not 
open  your  lips  to  poor  Eaoul." 

"Why  not?" 

"Because  as  yet  you  know  nothing  at  all." 

"What  is  the  matter,  then?" 

"Why,  this  evening — but  no  one  is  listening,  I  hope?" 


"This  evening,  then,  beneath  the  royal  oak.  La  Yalliere 
said  aloud,  and  innocently  enough,  'I  cannot  conceive  that 
when  one  has  once  seen  the  king,  one  can  ever  love  another 
man.'  " 

Malicorne  almost  jumped  ofE  the  wall.  "Unhappy  girl! 
did  she  really  say  that?" 

"Word  for  word." 

"And  she  thinks  so?" 

"La  Valliere  always  thinks  what  she  says." 

"That  positively  cries  aloud  for  vengeance.  Why,  women 
are  the  veriest  serpents,"  said  Malicorne. 

"Compose  yourself,  my  dear  Malicorne,  compose  your- 

"No,  no;  let  us  take  the  evil  in  time,  on  the  contrary. 
There  is  time  enough  yet  to  tell  Eaoul  of  it." 

"Blunderer,  on  the  contrary,  it  is  too  late,"  replied  Mon- 

"How  so?" 

"La  Valliere's  remark,  which  was  intended  for  the  king, 
reached  its  destination." 

"The  king  knows  it,  then?  The  king  was  told  of  it,  I 

"The  king  heard  it." 

^^Oliime!  as  the  cardinal  used  to  say." 

"The  king  was  hidden  in  the  thicket  close  to  the  royal 

"It  follows,  then,"  said  Malicorne,  "that  for  the  future, 
the  plan  which  the  king  and  madame  have  arranged  will  go 
as  easily  as  if  it  were  on  wheels,  and  will  pass  over  poor 
Bragelonne's  body." 

"Precisely  so." 

"Well,"  said  Malicorne,  after  a  moment's  reflection,  "do 
not  let  us  interpose  our  poor  selves  between  a  large  oak-tree 
and  a  great  king,  for  we  should  certainly  be  ground  to 

360  TEN   YEARS   LATER. 

"The  very  thing  I  was  going  to  say  to  you." 

"Let  us  think  of  ourselves,  then." 

"My  own  idea." 

"Open  your  beautiful  eyes,  then." 

"And  you  your  large  ears." 

"Approach  your  little  mouth  for  a  kiss." 

"Here,"  said  Montalais,  who  paid  the  debt  immediately 
in  ringing  coin. 

"Now,  let  us  consider.  First,  we  have  Monsieur  de 
Guiche,  who  is  in  love  with  madame;  then.  La  Valliere, 
who  is  in  love  with  the  king;  next,  the  king,  who  is  in  love 
both  with  madame  and  La  Valliere;  lastly.  Monsieur,  who 
loves  no  one  but  himself.  Among  all  these  loves,  a  noodle 
would  make  his  fortune;  a  greater  reason,  therefore,  for 
sensible  people  like  ourselves  to  do  so." 

"There  you  are  with  your  dreams  again." 

"Nay,  rather,  with  realities.  Let  me  lead  you,  darling. 
I  do  not  think  you  have  been  very  badly  ofE  hitherto." 


"Well,  the  future  is  guaranteed  by  the  past.  Only  since 
all  here  think  of  themselves  before  anything  else,  let  us  do 
so  too." 

"Perfectly  right." 

"But  of  ourselves  only." 

"Be  it  so." 

"An  offensive  and  defensive  alliance." 

"I  am  ready  to  swear  to  it." 

"Pat  out  your  hand  then,  and  say,  'All  for  Malicorne.'  " 

"Allfor  Malicorne." 

"And  I,  'All  for  Montalais,'  "  replied  Malicorne,  stretch- 
ing out  his  hand  in  his  turn. 

"And  now,  what  is  to  be  done?" 

"Keep  your  eyes  and  ears  constantly  open;  collect  every 
means  of  attack  which  may  be  serviceable  against  others; 
never  let  anything  lie  about  which  can  be  used  against 



"Sworn  to.  And,  now  the  agreement  is  entered  into, 

"What  do  you  mean  by  'good-by'?" 

"Of  course  you  can  now  return  to  your  inn." 

"To  my  inn?" 

"Yes;  are  you  not  lodging  at  the  sign  of  the  Beau  Paon?" 

"Montalais,  Montalais,  you  now  see  that  you  were  aware 
of  my  being  at  Fontainebleau." 

TEN   TEARS   LATER.  361 

"Well;  and  what  does  that  prove,  except  that  I  occupied 
myself  about  you  more  than  you  deserve?" 


"Go  back,  then,  to  the  Beau  Paon." 

"That  is  now  quite  out  of  the  question." 

"Have  you  not  a  room  there?" 

"I  had,  but  have  it  no  longer." 

"Who  has  taken  it  from  you,  then?" 

"I  will  tell  yon.  Some  little  time  ago  I  was  returning 
there,  after  I  hiul  been  running  about  after  you;  and  hav- 
ing reached  my  hotel  quite  out  of  breath,  I  perceived  a 
litter,  upon  which  four  peasants  were  carrying  a  sick  monk." 

"A  monk?" 

"Yes;  an  old  gray-bearded  Franciscan.  As  I  was  looking 
at  the  monk  they  entered  the  hotel;  and  as  they  were 
carrying  him  up  the  staircase,  I  followed,  and  as  I  reached 
the  top  of  the  staircase  I  observed  that  they  took  him  into 
my  room." 

"Into  your  room?" 

"Yes,  into  my  own  apartment.  Supposing  it  to  be  amis- 
take,  I  summoned  the  landlord,  who  said  that  the  room 
which  had  been  let  to  me  for  the  past  eight  days  was  let  to 
the  Franciscan  for  the  ninth." 

"Oh!  oh!" 

"That  was  exactly  what  I  said;  nay,  I  did  even  more,  for 
I  was  inclined  to  get  out  of  temper.  I  went  upstairs  again. 
I  spoke  to  the  Franciscan  himself,  and  wished  to  prove  to 
him  the  impropriety  of  the  step;  when  this  monk,  dying 
though  he  seemed  to  be,  raised  himself  upon  his  arm,  fixed 
a  pair  of  blazing  eyes  upon  me,  and,  in  a  voice  which  was 
admirably  suited  for  commanding  a  charge  of  cavalry,  said, 
'Turn  this  fellow  out-of-doors;'  which  was  done  imme- 
diately by  the  landlord  and  the  four  porters,  who  made  me 
descend  the  staircase  somewhat  faster  than  was  agreeable. 
This  is  how  it  happens,  dearest,  that  I  have  no  lodging." 

"Who  can  this  Franciscan  be?"  said  Montalais.  "Is  he 
a  general?" 

"That  is  exactly  the  very  title  that  one  of  the  bearers  of 
the  litter  gave  him  as  he  spoke  to  him  in  a  low  tone." 

"So  that — "  said  Montalais. 

"So  that  I  have  no  room,